Guy Lombardo

Picture of Guy Lombardo

Canadian born bandleader, Guy Lombardo, led the highly successful Royal Canadians for decades.  They were commonly billed as playing "the sweetest music this side of Heaven."  Personally, their music was a little too "sweet" for my taste, but there is simply no denying the popularity Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians enjoyed for a half century.  It's estimated that they sold somewhere between 100 and 300 million records during their careers.

Lombardo was also known as "Mr. New Year's Eve".  In 1929, his Orchestra provided the music for radio's first nationwide New Year's Eve broadcast which popularized the song "Auld Lang Syne" as a staple of the yearly celebration.  Lombardo's performances on radio, and later television, became a large part of New Year's traditions across North America for almost 50 years.  It wasn't until the mid 1970's that the popularity of his New Year's specials began to wane largely to the rise of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" which attracted younger viewers.  

I guess I should have held this post off until New Year's Eve, huh?  Oh well.

Listen to Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians perform  "Auld Lang Syne"

Believe it or not, Lombardo was also an important figure in Hydroplane Racing.  Lombardo just didn't race speed boats as some weekend hobby or mid-life crisis. He was the reigning U.S. national champion from 1946 to 1949.  Before his retirement from the Hydroplane Racing in the late 1950s, he had won every major trophy in the field.  When you listen to his sweet and mellow style of music, it's almost hard to imagine Lombardo traveling across the water at speeds of over 200 miles per hour.

Picture of Guy Lombardo racing

You can hear many songs by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians right here on Swing City Radio.

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