2014 Cubby O'Brien

 

Cubby O’Brien was one of just two Mouseketeers chosen to audition for The Mickey Mouse Club by Walt Disney himself, in the spring of 1955. Walt had been alerted to Cubby by a staff member, who caught his live performance at a charity gala. Walt then saw Cubby perform on The Ray Bolger Show and requested he be auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club.
 
Though he had little prior experience in singing or dancing, Cubby was placed on The Mickey Mouse Club’s first-string Red Team from the start. He quickly picked up enough dance skills to perform in musical numbers, though his solo performances remained centered around his drums. Cubby was the only musician among the Mouseketeers who was allowed to play on-camera. 
 
In the third year Cubby did the introductions for the serial The New Adventures of Spin and Marty, and – with Karen -- shared introduction duties for the Mousekartoons. He also appeared in the Disneyland fourth anniversary episode, and was slated to play a role in the proposed film, Rainbow Road to Oz. He remained with the show for all three seasons (1955–1958) of original programming, and after filming stopped, toured Australia with other Mouseketeers in 1959 and 1960.
 
Since his stint as a Mouseketeer, Cubby has enjoyed a highly successful career as a drummer. Among other gigs, he has performed with Lawrence Welk, Ann-Margret, Spike Jones, The Carpenters and Bernadette Peters, and spent several seasons on The Carol Burnett Show. He also drummed in the pit of such Broadway shows as Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy and The Producers.
 
In 1980, Cubby reunited with his fellow Mouseketeers for a television special, in which he sang and danced, and, of course, played drums. He continues to make occasional appearances with the Mouseketeers.

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