PAS Hall of Fame

Harry Breuer

by Frederick D. Fairchild


Harry Breuerb. Brooklyn, New York, USA Oct. 24; d. Jan. 1989

Harry Breuer, one of the great mallet players and composer of highly original xylophone solos such as "Back Talk," "On the Woodpile" and "Bit O' Rhythm," achieved fame in the 1920s when he was a soloist in the big United States movie houses. He broadcasted from New York's Roxy Theater, played the major radio shows during the 1920s and '30s, recorded for Warner Bros. and Fox Movietone, and finally joined the NBC radio staff where he played for such conductors as Robert Russell Bennett and Skitch Henderson. In the 1940s and 1950s Breuer was featured in several films, and during the 1950s he recorded four feature record albums including Mallet Magic. Leaving broadcasting in the 1960s, he continued as a freelance artist and joined Carroll Sound in New York as a consultant.


You can find the following in the PAS online Archives:

"Novelty Xylophone Recollections, An Interview with Harry Breuer" by Randall Eyles: Percussive Notes, Vol. 35, No. 6, Dec. 1997

"Interview with Harry Breuer" by Jeffrey E. Bush: Percussive Notes, Vol. 18, No. 3, Spring/Summer 1980

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