Harry Breuer

Biography by

+ Follow Artist

Space-age pop percussionist Harry Breuer was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 21, 1901; he initially studied violin but shifted to xylophone -- then still a novelty instrument -- while in high school,…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Space-age pop percussionist Harry Breuer was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 21, 1901; he initially studied violin but shifted to xylophone -- then still a novelty instrument -- while in high school, and went on to play with early radio favorites the Cliquot Club Eskimos as well as a number of vaudeville acts. Stints with the stage bands at New York's Roxy Theater and Radio City Music Hall followed before Breuer spent the war years working for Warner Bros. and Fox, not only contributing music to the studios' productions but also making appearances in several short subjects and educational films; during the mid-'40s, he signed on as a staff musician with NBC radio, remaining with the network for over three decades. In 1958, Breuer made his album debut with Mallet Magic, a collection of percussion instrumentals recorded for the Audio Fidelity label as a forum for demonstrating stereo technology; that same year he issued a sequel, Mallet Mischief, which was later featured on the cover of the book Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1, in the process becoming one of the more sought-after releases among latter-day space-age pop aficionados. Nearly a decade later, Breuer also teamed with electronic pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey to record The Happy Moog for Pickwick. Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1980, Breuer continued performing until his final years, in 1986 even releasing a new LP, Mallets in Wonderland; he died in New York City on June 27, 1989.