Door County Entertainment: Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians Perform at DCA

As the Big Band era dawned, a dance band performed in London, Ontario for the first time. Led by Guy Lombardo, the orchestra became a favorite. Ringing in the New Year, Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians will perform at the Door Community Auditorium (DCA) on Saturday, December 27 at 8 pm. And of course, the world famous band will perform its special rendition of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The orchestra that would become one of Big Band era’s premier groups actually began as a family affair. Featuring Guy Lombardo and his brothers – his father and sister occasionally joined the band – the core quartet performed in Canada until 1923 when they moved to Cleveland. The band’s move to the United States would prove pivotal to the band’s success.

Performing at the Claremont Tent, a Cleveland nightclub, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians were coached by owner Louis Bleet. Under Bleet’s tutelage the band slowed its tempos, lowered its volume, and introduced the concept of medleys in response to audience requests. The trio of innovations proved a winning combination.

Moving to New York City in 1929, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians settled in for a 33-year residency at the Roosevelt Grill. It was from the Grill’s stage that the band first performed “Auld Lang Syne,” a traditional Scottish song that has become a tradition through North America.

Over the ensuing years, Guy Lombardo’s band recorded more than 100 songs on all the major labels and sold more than 300 million phonograph albums. Guy Lombardo died in 1977, but his music lives on under the direction of Al Pierson who took up Lombardo’s baton in 1989. Dedicated to the sound that Guy Lombardo created 85 years ago, The Royal Canadians – under Pierson leadership – continue to thrill American and Canadian audiences.

Tickets for Guy Lombard’s Royal Canadians are $28 and $24, and are available at the DCA box office, by phone (920.868.2728), or via Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am – 3 pm; weekend show days, 11 am – 3 pm; and one hour prior to a performance. The Door Community Auditorium is located in Fish Creek, just north of the town center on Highway 42.