f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Don McNeely's Band

Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at 7:30 AM

Don McNeely's Band was active in the 1950s, playing the Purple Crackle in East Cape Girardeau, Ill. during Christmas 1952, where G.D. Fronabarger made this picture.

Left to right: Jerry Abernathy, Dick Powell, McNeely, Sonny Stevens, Allen Baker, Dennis Slinkard, Tony Carosello and Elwood Fisher.

McNeely started his broadcasting career at KFVS radio in 1943. He joined KFVS-TV when it went on the air in 1954 as its program director and on-air talent. Later he was the chief meteorologist until retiring in 1993.


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  • Really cool for us that grew up watching Don McNeely.

    Looks like Frony was using some off camera lighting.

    Didn't McNeely have a daughter that was an on-air talent at KFVS? Dawn, maybe?

    -- Posted by bobby62914 on Wed, Dec 29, 2010, at 8:33 AM
  • Donna I think it was.

    -- Posted by jcwill on Wed, Dec 29, 2010, at 9:53 AM
  • Don and Sue McNeely indeed had a daughter, Donna Sue. I remember the McNeelys as delightful friends of my parents, above and beyond his status as a broadcasting mainstay at KFVS. Thanks so much for posting this picture that captures such a distinct time for so many: dining and dancing at The Purple Crackle. Since it features my father, Tony, I was able just now to forward the link to him. He is still alive and well and will greatly enjoy seeing this, I can assure you.

    Steve Carosello

    -- Posted by 0.10 on Mon, Jan 3, 2011, at 2:02 PM
  • My dad wanted me to post and say thanks for publishing this photo. He's had a framed 8x10 copy of it hanging on the wall for years. He and Mother sold their home in Cape early last year and moved to the North Carolina coast. They're really enjoying it. Thanks again for posting such a nice memory.

    Donna McNeely

    -- Posted by donnamcneely on Tue, Jan 4, 2011, at 7:32 PM
  • My father wanted to add that Jerry Abernathy was the finest piano player he'd ever worked with, over a period of 40+ years of performing. He said that Abernathy had photographic memory for songs and arrangements and eventually moved to Southern California where he taught for many years.

    Steve Carosello

    -- Posted by 0.10 on Wed, Jan 5, 2011, at 11:51 AM
  • I'm a little late to this post. My dad is the infamous Jerry Abernathy in the photo. By 1954 he made his way to San Diego, CA to take a teaching position with San Diego City Schools. There he has stayed, retired from school administration since 1988. He continued to play piano professionally (jazz/bebop never blues) until just recently with the exception of one yearly gig at the Del Mar Fair in San Diego County. He was quite the hired gun in the '60s and '70s playing with some pretty notable jazz personalities. But mostly he was content to play a club trio gig Thursdays thru Saturdays to augment a principal's salary. I'm grateful to Steve Carosello for posting the sentiments from his father about my father! If someone has access to a hi rez copy of this blog's Band photo I would love to make dad a 5x7. Thanks again for this posting!!!

    -- Posted by danabernathy on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 9:16 PM