life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Guy Lombardo

So a few days ago I went to a party on the Nautical Mile in Freeport.  And found myself driving on Guy Lombardo Avenue.

Yes, that Guy Lombardo.  Famed Big Band leader, generations of Americans celebrated New Year's Eve with him and his Royal Canadians.  Even if you've never heard any of his other music, you've certainly heard his version of "Aud Lange Syne".

Lombardo moved to Freeport in the 1950's, and lived there until his death in 1977.  At one time he even owned a local restaurant. 

When Robert Moses built the Jones Beach Theater, he had Lombardo in mind.  The venue opened in 1952, and each summer through 1978 there would be a musical:  Showboat, South Pacific, Sound of Music. The stage sits in Zach's Bay, with seating on the beach, and in the early days  the stage was separated from the seating by a moat.  Lombardo and his orchestra would board a yacht and sail across the channel from Freeport to Zach's Bay, and during intermission they'd sail into the moat and play for the audience.

The venue changed its focus to concerts in the 80's, and the moat was filled in during a renovation in the early 90's.  But every time Drew and I see a concert at the beach, he's sure to remind me how Guy Lombardo used to sail into Zach's Bay.

2 comments:

bookworm said...

Watching Guy Lombardo play with his orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel (on channel 2) was a highlight of my childhood. I was allowed to stay up late for New Years Eve and I sat with my parents, who always stayed home. We listened and then watched (as narrated by Ben Grauer) the Times Square ball come down. Memories! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

songbird's crazy world said...

Same here, New Year's Eve watching Guy on channel 2. Until I got older and Dick Clark came along.

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