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Cubby O'Brien

Carl “Cubby” O'Brien was born July 14, 1946, in Sun Valley, California, not far from Burbank. He was the youngest male to audition to be a Mouseketeer. Discovered by Disney talent scouts in December 1954, while performing at a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) benefit in Hollywood. At the audition, Cubby played the drums but Jimmie asked him to sing something. Cubby told him he wasn't a singer. Jimmie suggested “Happy Birthday”. So, accompanied by a banjo player sitting nearby, Cubby sang this simple song that every child knew. But for Cubby, it won him a spot as a Mouseketeer! Cubby Recalls “I did some commercials and some TV shows like 'Zane Grey Theater' and 'Cheyenne,' but I was a drummer and that's what I really wanted to do.”

Following his tenure with the Mickey Mouse Club and the Junior Band on the Lawrence Welk show, Cubby joined small bands around the L.A. area and played local lounges. He worked with the Spike Jones band for about two years. Cubby credits the experience he got with Spike Jones as opening the door to a lot of famous acts. He traveled with Ann-Margaret for a couple of years. He was a regular on 'The Jim Nabors Show' for a while, then did 'The Carol Burnett Show' for six and a half years. While working for Carol, he met the Carpenters when they were guests on the program. From that meeting, the Carpenters asked Cubby to go on tour with them, and he ended up working with them for ten years. He then went on to work with a variety of performers such as Juliet Prowse, Debbie Reynolds, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Lena Horne, Diana Ross, Joel Grey, Bernadette Peters, Andy Williams, and Shirley MacLaine.

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Bernadette Peters/...

Important Music
2005

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