We’re ringing out the old year with a slew of old timey New Year’s episodes:
You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone!
Big band leader Guy Lombardo began doing his annual New Year’s Eve broadcasts with his Royal Canadians in 1929 (the first couple of decades were on radio of course). My life intersected with this tradition by about a dozen years, but of course I was only staying up past midnight during the last couple, I imagine…’75, ’76, ’77…And of course in those years, the only choice for a kid my age would have been Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. It’s what we did, with our snacks and soda, while the parents went out and rang in the New Year by getting dangerously blitzed. If we accidentally turned the dial to Guy Lombardo, no doubt the bunch of us would have made throw-up noises. But if I’d known ’76 into ’77 was going to be his last year, I might have been more respectful. At any rate, I’m glad I can watch it now!
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc