Bandleader Guy Lombardo

Guy Lombardo

Guy Lombardo (born June 19, 1902 – died November 5, 1977) was a Canadian-American bandleader, violinist, and composer who became a popular music icon. His orchestra, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, was known for its “sweet” dance music style and was a fixture of American New Year’s Eve celebrations for decades.
  • Guy Lombardo was born to Italian-Canadian parents in London, Ontario, Canada.
  • He was the eldest of five siblings, who eventually joined his orchestra.
  • Lombardo began his music career as a violinist and formed his first band with his brothers in 1924.
  • He and his orchestra relocated to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1927 and later to New York City.
  • Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians gained nationwide fame through radio broadcasts and recordings.
  • The orchestra’s signature sound was characterized by a smooth, sweet, and melodious style that appealed to a wide audience.
  • Lombardo’s orchestra was known as “The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven.”
  • They recorded more than 500 songs, including hits like “Auld Lang Syne,” “Boo Hoo,” and “Seems Like Old Times.”
  • Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians were the resident orchestra at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City for 33 years.
  • Lombardo became synonymous with New Year’s Eve celebrations, performing live on radio and television broadcasts from 1929 until he died in 1977.
  • Millions across the United States and Canada watched his annual New Year’s Eve broadcasts.
  • Lombardo was also an accomplished speedboat racer, winning several championships during his lifetime.
  • In addition to being a bandleader, Lombardo appeared as a guest conductor for symphony orchestras and worked as a composer and arranger.
  • Lombardo’s orchestra featured notable vocalists such as Carmen Lombardo (his brother), Kenny Gardner, and Tony Craig.
  • Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians appeared in several films, including “Many Happy Returns” and “Stage Door Canteen.”
  • Lombardo received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the music industry.
  • His band’s version of “Auld Lang Syne” remains a traditional choice for New Year’s Eve celebrations in North America.
  • Lombardo’s orchestra continued to perform after his death, led by his brother Victor and later by other musicians.
  • Guy Lombardo’s music has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and commercials, often as a nostalgic representation of a bygone era.
  • His contributions to popular music and enduring legacy as “Mr. New Year’s Eve” have made Guy Lombardo a cherished figure in the history of American entertainment.