Before Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest, by Rich Paschall

Happy New Year!

Perhaps “rockin'” is not the right word. Maybe “swaying” is better. Gaetano Alberto Lombardo was born in 1902 in Canada. He became popularly known as Guy Lombardo. In 1924 he formed a band with his three brothers and other musicians. They were known as The Royal Canadians. Soon they would hold court over New Year’s even for many decades.

In 1928 they were on the radio for New Year’s Eve. In 1929 they had the first nationwide radio broadcast on New Year’s Eve and played Auld Lang Syne as a number to ring in the New Year. From there they played it every year, making popular the song we can not seem to live without at midnight. The live broadcast moved to CBS television in 1956 and was the first of 21 consecutive New Year’s Eve TV shows for Guy.  People waited up, not for the ball drop in Time’s Square, but for Guy to play Auld Lang Syne at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Think of Guy Lombardo and The Royal Canadians to be a band similar to Lawrence Welk, but without the bubbles.

Guy passed away in November of 1977 but the show went on for the next two years with one of the Lombardo brothers at the helm. After that, the band broke up and the tradition ended. In 1972 Dick Clark conceived a rock and roll special to bring in the New Year. It was meant to be a competition to Lombardo and draw in the younger audiences. The youngest of the midnight revelers likely do not remember Clark. They just see his name on the show’s title. They would have no idea who Guy Lombardo might be.

Not many of us remember the Lombardo broadcasts well. I remember seeing a number of them. With no parent at home, why not stay up until midnight Eastern time and watch The Royal Canadians play that famous song. Of course, we had no idea what the song was actually saying. We just knew it signaled the start of a New Year.


Categories: Anecdote, Entertainment, Holidays, Rich Paschall

Tags: , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I was watching tonight – now 2022 – and all I could talk about was Guy Lombardo New Years Eve.

    I remember it well, the count down in the ball room, and Auld Lang Sine. I saw all 21 years with Guy. Bitter sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sure, I remember him! Thanks for the reminder, and happy new year to all.

    Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great! Thank you for sharing, and have a happy and blessed new year arriving! 🙂 xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do remember those broadcasts. It wasn’t my kind of music — but back then, my kind of music was entirely classical. I was seriously into piano and didn’t have time to listen to much else between school and practicing. I’m surprised at how little music I remember from my kid years. If I didn’t play it or some other pianist didn’t play it, I didn’t hear it. But you know? Even though I can’t play anymore, I can still see the notes in my head when I hear the music. It stays with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember these songs, although it was not my kind of mucis either.


      • I wonder whose music it really was. I know my parents watched it, but no one took it seriously. We didn’t have a lot of channels back then, so there wasn’t a lot of choice for what to watch on New Year’s Eve. Now, of course, you’ve got a zillion choices and a lot of us also have a lot of DVDs too. No shortage of stuff to watch! Sometimes it’s really TOO much. Have a great Turning of the Year. Maybe this one will be an improvement. It’s not, after all, a very high bar to jump.

        Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



Light Motifs II

Paula Light's Writing Site | The Classic Edition

Touring My Backyard

Rediscovering Singapore

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah

Thoughts & Theories

My Personal Rants, Ravings, & Ruminations

France & Vincent

Writing Magic, Myth and Mystery

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

Keep it alive

A look at life, achieving good physical and mental health and happiness

Covert Novelist

Light Hearted Mysteries

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

My Blog

Just another site

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns

Sparks From A Combustible Mind


Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


Your Source For The Coolest Science Stories

%d bloggers like this: