GUY LOMBARDO Biography - Musicians


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Name: Gaetano Alberto Lombardo                                                       
Born: 19 June 1902                                                                   
Died: 5 November 1977                                                               
Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo (June 19, 1902 - November 5, 1977) was a Canadian     
(born in London, Ontario) bandleader and violinist famous throughout the world,     
but particularly in Canada and the United States. With his three brothers Carmen,   
Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown of London, Ontario, he     
formed the big band The Royal Canadians in 1924, famous for the motto "The           
Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven". His very first recording session took place     
where Bix Beiderbecke made his legendary recordings in Richmond, Indiana, at         
the Gennett Studios both during early 1924.                                         
The musical team played at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City from 1929 to         
1959, and their New Year's Eve broadcasts (which continued with Lombardo until       
1976 at the Waldorf Astoria) were a major part of New Year's celebrations across     
North America. Even after Lombardo's death, the band's New Year's specials           
continued for air two more years on CBS.                                             
In 1938, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. The Royal             
Canadians were noted for playing the traditional song "Auld Lang Syne" as part       
of the celebrations. Their recording of the song still plays as the first song       
of the new year in Times Square.                                                     
The Lombardos are believed to have sold more than 300 million phonograph albums     
during their lifetimes.                                                             
Although Lombardo's big band music was viewed by some in the jazz and swing         
community of the day as "corny," Louis Armstrong famously enjoyed Lombardo's         
music. When questioned about this, Armstrong quipped "The man gets the melody       
He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.