Two for Tuesday: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians (Baby Boom Years)

This is a repost from New Year’s Day, 2013. A lot of things have changed since then, and I figured I should update it for style and dates. I know I’m a little early, but Guy was on the list and by the time we get to next Tuesday it’ll already be 2018…

Happy New Year, everyone! A few days early, I know, but I thought honoring Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians was appropriate. He and his orchestra were a fixture of New Year’s Eve from 1928 until 1976, a few months before he died of a heart attack.

Gaetano Alberto “Guy” Lombardo was born in London, Ontario to Italian immigrants Gaetano Sr. and Lena Lombardo in 1902. His father was a tailor and a baritone singer who encouraged Guy and brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor to learn musical instruments so that they could accompany him. The band rehearsed in the back of Dad’s tailor shop. They began their prolific recording career in 1926. (Louis Armstrong was a big fan.) They started playing New Year’s Eve at the Roosevelt Hotel in 1928. Generally, their New Year’s Eve broadcasts (both radio and TV beginning in 1956) were carried on the CBS network, though they were syndicated in the late Sixties and early Seventies.

The first song is “On a Slow Boat to China,” featuring a vocal by Kenny Gardner.

“Auld Lang Syne,” the tune for which they are best known, is the second; the tradition is that it’s the song that plays at Times Square at midnight.

I wish you success, happiness, love, and fulfillment in 2018. That’s your Two for Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

13 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians (Baby Boom Years)

  1. Yes, I remember watching the New Years Eve show with my grandmother who was babysitting us when my parents went out. Thanks for the memories, John. Happy New Year to you too!

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    1. I used to watch it, too. I’ve never been one to go out on New Year’s Eve, also known as Amateur Night for the number of people who drink and drive for maybe the first time. (The other Amateur Night is St. Patrick’s Day.) Hope Christmas was great, and Happy New Year!

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      1. Yeah, once the kids came along we stopped going out as well. Now that they are all grown and out of the house we could. We’ve been invited to an open house but I almost would rather stay at home, work in my craft room and wait for the ball to drop in Times Square on TV.

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  2. Merry Christmas!!! I know it’s a day late but it’s still the season. I have been so busy with decorating, making cookies, wrapping etc.. I am exhausted and my blogging suffered. I want to thank you for bringing this Canadian favourite back because 8 th8 k of my dad. He would have been 15 when Lombardo started and he loved this guy. He always put him on at New Years and I would moan, as would my brother and my mom wasn’t that keen either but my dad didn’t listen, thank God, and always enjoyed him. When Guy Lombardo died, my dad was very, very sad because he knew him most of his life.

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    1. I can understand how he feels. I’ll probably feel the same when Betty White passes away. She’s been part of my life as far back as I can remember.

      Guy Lombardo is a New Year’s Eve icon. It’s hard to imagine the New Year beginning without his “Auld Lang Syne.”

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  3. Guy Lombardo is the master of Auld Lang Syne. I remember my mother listening to his music. We go to happy hour at the local pub and then go home for the remainder of New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t pay to be out late with the amateurs.

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    1. It’s like you’re taking your life into your hands. I like how the taxi companies in Atlanta are giving free rides home for those who have imbibed a little too much, but even so, there are just too many who insist on driving themselves, and I’m hearing about a possible wintry mix on Sunday. That’s a recipe for disaster. No thanks, I’ll stay home…

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