Who is Guy Lombardo? Find Out at Grandma’s House

For almost half a century, beginning in 1929 and going through the early 1970s, Guy Lombardo was Mr New Year’s Eve for millions of Americans. Before Dick Clark and now Ryan Seacreast, it was Lombardo Americans listened to as they prepared to bring in the New Year. He and his band first played from Chicago on radio in 1929 and later went on to be regulars on television every year.

Mr. New Year's Eve, Guy Lombardo

Mr. New Year’s Eve, Guy Lombardo

Even as the big band era of the 1940s faded into memory, Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (he was Canadian, of Italian decent) played on. New Year’s Eve wasn’t New Year’s Eve without seeing and listening to him. Lombardo also made Auld Land Syne, an old Scottish tune and poem, into the song that has come to symbolize New Year’s Eve every year. The idea apparently came to him when the sponsor of his show was something called Robert Burns cigars and he felt something Scottish would be appropriate to play, he once told a CBS television interviewer.

That’s why there’s so much excitement at Grandma’s House about Guy Lombardo. It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without him.


What You’ll See at Grandma’s House April 13, 6 or 8 p.m.

New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House has its premiere April 13 at the Piven Theatre in Evanston for two performance, one at 6 p.m, the other at 8 p.m.

Each show will begin as the house lights dim and this video begins to play. This video includes the people on whom characters in New Year’s Eve are based, the members of author John N. Frank’s extended family.

Here, they are first seen in the mid-1990s as the family home in Brooklyn is being prepared for sale. Then watch as they travel back in time to some of the many parties that made that house the home for so many members of this family for nearly 70 years.

As the video ends on show night, you will be in Grandma’s dining room on New Year’s Eve, 1960, wondering along with family members whether that year’s party will happen or not. Come see the show to find out the answer.

See the video on YouTube: