MP3 The McFadden Brothers - Chapter 1
Jazz done "The McFadden Brothers" way. They play (Lonnie on trumpet), and (Ronald on Alto sax), sing and tap dance in styles from traditional Louis Armstrong to Contempoporary Jazz.
12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Bebop, JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo
Who would have guessed that a flourishing career would
be the result of “having fun with Daddy”? That’s what
has happened in the case of The McFadden Brothers.
In their own words they recall; “As far as I can remember, we were tap dancing,” “Dad would practice with
us - he used to make it so much fun. This was like playtime with Daddy.”
They have been entertaining since they were in elementary school, learning their licks from their father,
Kansas City hoofer and all around entertainer Smilin’ Jimmy McFadden. Their Dad, danced with the likes
of “The Count Basie Orchestra,” “Blanche Calloway’s Harlem Review,” “Jay McShann,” and many more
of the top name entertainers and orchestra’s of the 30’s and 40’s. Along with leading a top notch tap
dancing act of his own, “The 3 Chocolate Drops.” The 3 Chocolate Drops traveled around the eastern and
central United States. Working in the same circuit as “The Berry Brothers,” “The Rhythm Kings” and
another group by the name of “The Will Mastin Trio.”.
McFadden began teaching his sons tap dancing at the ages of 3 and 4. In addition, he made sure both
Lonnie and Ronald would get a knowledge of music by making sure they took piano lessons as he taught
them lots of comedy bits, tap routines and songs to sing. At ages 6 and 7 Lonnie and Ronald gave their first
recital, an hour long show that consisted of the two McFadden Brothers singing, tap dancing, doing comedy
bits and playing piano and organ.
After The McFadden Brothers entered junior high school, they completely quit tap dancing and taking
piano lessons, largely due to peer pressure as Lonnie recalls, “They weren’t too fond of tap dancers at the
school we went to.” So they decided to concentrate more on playing the trumpet (Lonnie) and the alto
saxophone (Ronald). Instruments that were more accepted by their peers.
As a teenager, Lonnie traveled with one of the regional R&B and Top 40 bands playing trumpet and singing
before starting his own band, “Lonnie and The Band” that included Ronald on the alto sax. It was during
this time that Lonnie became a song writer and arranger and Ronald developed his own style as a choreographer.
After Lonnie and The Band had run it’s course, The McFadden Brothers were born.
In order to complement their musical and dancing skills, the brothers began developing a stage persona - a
more complete presentation that was inspired by St. Louis newsman and playwright, John Auble. Auble,
who already knew of Jimmy McFadden, learned of the young brothers and journeyed to Kansas City in the
early ’80s to see Lonnie and Ronnie perform. Several months later, Auble wrote “Steps: The Pops McFadden
Story.” Lonnie and Ronnie starred in the play, which enjoyed a long run in St. Louis in 1985.
“Steps” was a throwback to the days of vaudeville, and the characters the McFaddens portrayed in that play
are still largely evident in their shows today.
By the 1980s the McFadden Brothers paralleled their fathers career by performing with “The Count Basie
Orchestra”. They played major jazz festivals in Europe and Japan, appearing on the same bill with such
jazz greats as Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis. During this time, they also made their first national
television appearance on “Incredible Sunday’s” the result of a recommendation from Ben Vareen.
The McFadden Brothers have since appeared with some of the biggest names in show business, like Sammy
Davis Jr., Tony Orlando and their present employer of over 2 and a half years, Wayne Newton. Mr. Newton
reminds his audiences nightly to “remember those names Ronnie and Lonnie McFadden, The McFadden
Brothers.” “They are gonna be big stars someday.”
LONNIE McFADDEN RONNIE McFADDEN
Tap Dancer Tap Dancer
Trumpet Alto and Soprano Saxophones
Arranger Music Copyist
Song Writer Song Writer
THE McFADDEN BROTHERS HAVE WORKED ON THE SHOW WITH:
WAYNE NEWTON SAMMY DAVIS JR.
TONY ORLANDO BEN VAREEN
CAB CALLOWAY SUSAN STAFFORD
KOOL AND THE GANG GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS
THE MANHATTANS WYNTON MARSALIS
THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA BRANFORD MARSALIS
MGM GRAND HOTEL & CASINO (Hollywood Theater) Las Vegas, NV
WAYNE NEWTON THEATER Branson, Mo.
DESERT INN Las Vegas, NV
FOLLY THEATER Kansas City, Mo.
TONY ORLANDO''S YELLOW RIBBON THEATER Branson, Mo.
FOXWOODS CASINO Ledyard, Connecticut
THE GRAND THEATER / GRAND CASINO Biloxi, MS.
SAM''S TOWN CASINO Robinsonville, MS.
TROPICANA CASINO Atlantic City, NJ
RESORTS HOTEL AND CASINO Atlantic City, NJ
CERRITOS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Cerritos, CA
ROY CLARK THEATER Branson, Mo.
GOLDENROD SHOWBOAT St. Louis, Mo.
NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL Den Haag, Holland
REGAL THEATRE Chicago, Ill.
MERIDIAN HOTEL Paris, France
HOLLYWOOD - BROADWAY CLUB Iceland
NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS CONVENTION Washington, D.C.
MUSIC HALL Kansas City, Mo.
NIMES JAZZ FESTIVAL Nimes, France
JACOB JAVIS CONVENTION CENTER New York, N. Y.
GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL AND CASINO Aruba
I. C. LIGHT AMPHITHEATER Pittsburg, PA
NICE JAZZ FESTIVAL Nice, France
The McFadden Brothers have appeared as the opening act for Wayne Newton on various
dates and in various venues across the United States.
JENNY JONES SHOW National
INCREDIBLE SUNDAYS National
INSIDE EDITION National
VARIETY CLUB TELETHON St. Louis, Mo.
VARIETY CLUB TELETHON Kansas City, Mo.
GIANT SATURDAYS Santiago, Chili