Beginning in 1929, a New Year's Eve Tradition...Guy Lombardo & his Royal Canadians. Guy Lombardo was best known to TV audiences for his annual New Year's Eve telecasts, beginning on CBS TV December 31, 1956. His brothers Carmen (the band's musical director), Victor, & Lebert were all members of the orchestra. Guy, the eldest, was designated the leader.
For most of his years in television, Guy Lombardo represented nostalgia representing the '30s and '40s. At midnight the traditional welcoming in of the New Year at Times Square is presented with Guy Lombardo doing a 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, countdown and proclaiming to all, "Happy New Year."
Dave Garroway begins this broadcast at 11:00pm (aired only locally on an independent station) in a rare guest role doing "color commentary" live from Times Square on New Year's Eve. He appears on New York local television station WOR TV Channel 9 bringing in the New Year beginning at 11pm describing the New Year's Eve Times Square crowd, reminiscing about the decade of the 60's, while also introducing music from the past decade (The Beatles, "All You Need is Love," " Bobby Darin "Mack the Knife," Frank Sinatra "Strangers in the Night," Barbra Streisand "People," Petula Clarke "Downtown," 5th Dimension "The Age of Aquarius").
At 11:30pm the broadcast switches to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC with Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians as they play many instrumentals leading us into a New Year and a New Decade. Instrumentals and vocal arrangements include:
"Let's Do it Again," "Jean," "Aquarius," "Lara's Theme," Muddy Mississippi Line," Humoresque," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "Tea for Two," "Tiger Rag," "Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here," "You are my Sunshine," "Hello Dolly," "When the Saints Go Marching In," "You are my Sunshine," "Alley Cat," "The Tarantella," "Tomorrow," sung by Tony Poncho, "Powder Your Face with Sunshine," "Rampart Street on Parade," and "Auld Lang Syne."
After Midnight Helen O'Connell sings "My Way," "I'm All Smiles" medley: "Amapola," "Green Eyes," "Tangerine." "I Want to be Around," and "Who Cares."
Don Grilly and Lesley Stewart sing "Before the Parade Passes
By," "So Happy Together," "Goin' Out Of My Head," and "I Love You Baby."
Recorded with Pepsi Cola commercials omitted. Otherwise complete.
NOTE: Of all of the New Year's Eve television broadcasts Guy Lombardo performed this WOR TV program is the rarest. It was never video taped or kinescoped by WOR. And, this show was the only time that an entire two hour block of time was created
(1956-1976) for a Guy Lombardo New Year's Eve celebration TV Special.