By FRANK BARNING
To me, New Year's Eve has never been the same since Guy Lombardo passed away in 1977. He lived in
According to Wikipedia: "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 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 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."
"Lombardo later became promoter and musical director of Jones Beach Marine Theater, which is a still-popular concert venue south of
While in college in the early 1960s, I worked at the Jones Beach Marine Theatre for four summers as an employee of the Long Island State Park Commission, which was headed by Moses.
Some nights, Lombardo arrived at the theatre on his boat, a short ride from his waterfront home in
The Lombardos had private parking spaces next to the Marine Theatre. In front of each space, on a pole, was the first name of each brother. I remember that one summer someone painted the word "Wise" above Guy's name. It remained there for weeks, so I guess he was not offended.
As I write this, we are only a few hours away from the ball dropping on