Guy Lombardo - The Original Mr. New Year's Eve
This being New Year's Eve, I got to thinking that, while Dick Clark (Get well soon, God grant) seems to have had a monopoly on New Year's Eve over the last 32 years, we tend to forget that there was a man who had that same monopoly for almost 48 years, and every bit as enduringly. I'm referring, of course, to Guy Lombardo, who, with his band, the Royal Canadians, rang in the new year out of New York every year between 1929 and 1976. Lombardo himself passed away in the fall of 1977 at the age of 74.
While, as leader of one of the great sweet (as opposed to swing) bands of all time, Guy may not have been the innovator that, say, Goodman or Kenton were, he knew his audience and what they wanted to hear: Smooth music that was easy to dance to. Like that of his contemporary, Lawrence Welk, his audience was primarily older, conservative, and middle-American, in need of some sort of aural tonic for increasingly troubling times. Guy provided that tonic and, as could be seen every New Year's Eve and countless performances in between, his audience never failed him. I saw a performance last summer with the Lombardo Band, currently under the direction of one Al Pierson, and that audience is still there...and still dancing.
Any thoughts on Mr. Lombardo?
There was something elegant that Guy brought to New Years
I also miss Guy Lombardo and his music,
but I wonder how Dick Clark is. I did see him last year, but have heard nothing since.