Rheiny Fraunfelder Fraunfelder Fliers & Posters
Ruth Fraunfelder, Circa 1938
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More links to additional flyers Pasadena The Chautauqua Circuit Fraunfelders And A Movie Swiss Clubs 1950s Flyer

Circa 1935

Early Swiss Family Fraunfelders, Circa 1935

 "Popcorn, Fraunfelders and a Movie"
Circa 1938-39

>>> Click HERE to see more 'Fraunfelders and a Movie' handbills in Portland, Seattle and Los Angeles

The early Fraunfelder performances were often accompanied by motion pictures (with sound) such as the 1932 full length comedy Swiss ski film, "Slalom," or a Sonja Henie ice skating short, "Swiss on White," or another short called, "Swiss Ski School."  There were also films promoting the American Red Cross. The poster is for an an appearance at Benson Polytechnic High School Auditorium in Portland, Ore.  Slalom, which was produced in black and white on seven reels and not released in the U.S. until 1936, was billed as the first feature-length ski film.  It was 87 minutes long. The year of the  handbill below is not identified but believed to be around 1938, when the Fraunfelders had a similar Slalom movie billing at historic Trinity Auditorium in  Los Angeles, California (below.) The Trinity venue seated 1,600 to 2,500 people with three balconies and a stained-glass ceiling. No information on whether popcorn was available.

Courtesy Erika Williams

 Swiss Echo Yodelers
Post Card

Very pleased to receive this autographed post card in 2022, estimated to be about 85 years old, that features the family.  The group soon became most popular under the name, "Swiss Family Fraunfelder," but this post card was when they were billed as the "Swiss Echo Yodelers," based in Pasadena, Calif.

Courtesy Jana Ditmars, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Undated autographed post card sent to her late grandmother.

The Chautauqua Circuit - 1939 to 1942

>>> Click HERE for more handbills and information on the Fraunfelders and The Chautauqua Circuit

Part of Swiss Family Fraunfelder history such as these posters above are preserved through the U.S. Library of Congress and the University of  Iowa because of the yodelers' particpation in the traveling educational shows across the country known as the "Chautauqua Circuit." The poster on the top left was prepared by the show promoter, "The Redpath Bureau," one of more than 20 companies operating circuits. We know that the Fraunfelders performed for Chautauqua organizations in Midwest states like Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio (below), where they were the opening act of an eight-week program schedule in 1942.

Religion and Life Brochure, 1940

Fraunfelders and Swiss Edelweiss Singing Society - 1939
Tacoma, Washington
Swiss Hall

More than 3,000 Swiss and their descendants are still active today in Swiss organizations in the Tacoma/Bonney Lake/Pierce County area of Washington state, according to Louise Albert Mueller Hospenthal, president of the Fife Historical Society  The Fraunfelders likely performed here multiple times throughout their career as there was a large concentration of Swiss immigrants. The "Grand Swiss Concert," where the Fraunfelders performed in Tacoma in 1939, is still held every three years at rotating locations on the West Coast.  The Swiss hall where they performed is now on the campus of the University of Washington-Tacoma and is called "The Swiss Restaurant and Pub."  The upstairs meeting hall still features a large wall mural of the Alps.  

Fraunfelders at Swiss Grand Concert, Tacoma, 1939

>>> Click HERE for more handbills and information on the Fraunfelders in Tacoma and at Swiss events and clubs up and down the West Coast in 1939 and 1940.

1939 Swiss Family Fraunfelder Performance
San Francisco Civic Auditorium

1930s Fraunfelder Poster

Courtesy Ryan Fraunfelder, Son of Rheiny Fraunfelder

Early Swiss Yodelers Flyers
Circa 1935-1939

These posters in the early years were used before the act was known as "Swiss Family Fraunfelder ." Note the references to minor roles that the Fraunfelders apparently played in motion pictures.  These early performances were at places like schools and civic clubs. Frequently, the performances were accompanied by slides or films of Switzerland, often narrated by Papa Fraunfelder.

Flyers courtesy of Sonia Redmond, daughter of Hans Fraunfelder

1940 - Brown Lyceum Bureau
St. Louis, Missouri
Catalog of talent for schools, clubs and conventions

Excerpts from  the cover of the 1940-41 Brown Lyceum Talent Brochure, St. Louis, Mo. The Swiss Family Fraunfelder is listed in the lower left hand corner of the broadsheet cover page. This likely was one of the many spinoffs of the Chautauqua movement.

Courtesy Erika Williams, daughter of Rheiny Fraunfelder

1940 & 1941 - Rotary Clubs
Madison, Wisconsin
"Prolonged Applause"
Betty sings "Cherry Berry Bin (Ciriciribin, Grace Moore hit)"
Madison Rotary Club, October 1940

"and were applauded for four minutes ... Several expressed wonderment that they have been overlooked by Hollywood. They have not been overlooked.. They have appeared in a number of pictures." (Oct. 22, 1940)
"The four hundred Rotarians and guests present, the largest meeting in years...showed their appreciation of the program presented by the Fraunfelcder Family by prolonged applause." (Jan. 14, 1941)

Cincinnati, Ohio - Rotary Club
Hotel Gibson

Courtesy Erika Williams, daughter of Rheiny Fraunfelder

1950s Flyer
Ruth (Fraunfelder) Buckley was now married and living in Wisconsin. This flyer, probably used in the early 1950s, when the trio was living in Hood River, Ore. It featured only Betty, Papa and Rheiny. It still carries some of the same endorsements garnered by the full quartet in the 1930s and 1940s.

>>> Click HERE for more handbills and information on the Fraunfelders and in the 1950s