Papers consist of arrangements of popular songs
for the O'Neill Sisters School of Dance (Helen & Peggy O'Neill) from the
1950's in San Francisco. Performances were most likely held at the Golden Gate
Theater, State Fairs, San Francisco nightclubs, and Fireman/Policeman Balls.
Emil (pronounced Ay'-muhl) Aaron Breitenfeld (1888-1964) was a pianist,
arranger, composer, and theater organist who accompanied silent films in movie
theaters. He is the father of Paul Desmond, the jazz alto saxophonist of the
Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was described as a “sarcastic, very smart,
extraordinarily talented musical guy.” He enlisted in the army during World War
I and exited the army in May 1919. By spring of 1920, he settled in San
Francisco with his wife, Shirley King, playing for silent films and writing
arrangements for stage shows.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as
the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the
Collection open for research.