Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brant Inn Memories - chapter excerpt

Distinctive Lombardo sound meant money in the bank

Old acquaintances were rarely forgotten whenever Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians played the Brant Inn.

Quite simply, the Lombardo orchestra was the Brant's most popular attraction, appearing nine times between 1952 and 1961, usually for four nights on each visit.

Call their music "schmaltzy", call it "cornball", call it "Mickey Mouse", but the fact remained that the distinctive Lombardo sound meant money in the bank.

"It was nothing in the early years to take in $25,000 in four days for the Lombardos. And that was just from tickets", Brant Inn owner John Murray Anderson said on his retirement in 1964. In return, the most the nightclub paid the band was $11,000 for five nights in 1960.

The Lombardo secret was basic: give the public what it wants - familiar melodies played at a danceable tempo. Or as the band's slogan put it: The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven.

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Monday, March 23, 2009


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