Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Happy New Year, Everybody!
I hope I'm here to celebrate with you..... (I'm posting this back on January 7!)
One last League of Themselves for today, to make this a true "Two For Tuesday"!


'The Adventures Of Ellery Queen'
["The Adventure Of The Auld Lang Syne"]

Playing himself from thirty+ years earlier

Earth Prime-Time

From Wikipedia:
Gaetano Alberto "Guy" Lombardo (June 19, 1902 – November 5, 1977) was a Canadian-American bandleader and violinist.

Forming "The Royal Canadians" in 1924 with his brothers Carmen, Lebert, and Victor and other musicians from his hometown, Lombardo led the group to international success, billing themselves as creating "The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven." The Lombardos are believed to have sold between 100 and 300 million phonograph records during their lifetimes.

Guy Lombardo is best known for almost a half-century of New Year's Eve broadcasts, first on radio, and then on television. Lombardo's orchestra played at the "Roosevelt Grill" in the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City from 1929 to 1959, and their New Year's Eve performances (which continued with Lombardo until 1976 at the Waldorf Astoria). Broadcasts (and later telecasts) of their performances were a major part of New Year's celebrations across North America; millions of people watched the show with friends at house parties.

The band's first New Year's Eve radio broadcast was in 1928; within a few years, they would be heard on the CBS Radio Network before 12 Midnight Eastern time, then on the NBC Radio Network after 12 Midnight EST.

On December 31, 1956, the Lombardo band did their first New Year's TV special on CBS; the program (and Lombardo's 20 subsequent New Year's Eve TV shows) would include a live segment from Times Square (long the focal point of America's New Year's Eve celebrations) showcasing the arrival of the New Year. During the early years, pioneer broadcast journalist Robert Trout reported from Times Square; in later years, another longtime newsman, Ben Grauer, reported from Times Square.

YAWN! (Up past his bedtime.....)
While CBS carried most of the Lombardo New Year's specials, there were a few years in the late 1960s and early 1970s when the special was syndicated live to individual TV stations instead of being broadcast on a network.

By the middle 1970's, the Lombardo TV show was facing competition, especially for younger viewers, from "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve", but Lombardo remained popular among viewers, especially older ones.

Even after Lombardo's death, the band's New Year's specials continued for two more years on CBS. 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.

As of the time I write this, the League of Themselves daily showcase has had only one other example in which someone played himself but younger - Jerry Colonna.  Back in the sixties he appeared as himself in an episode of 'McHale's Navy' which was set about twenty years earlier.  this was closer to thirty years earlier!

All the best in 2014!

No comments: