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A good old New Year at the Rendezvous

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Here is a little treat for those people who are just old enough to have a faint memory of a big band playing Auld Lang Syne, acknowledging bygone people and times and escorting us into the new year. For decades, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians rang in the new year on national television, broadcast from the New York Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It seemed that the transition was incomplete without a prelude from Guy Lombardo to prepare us for the countdown.

Not everyone knows or remembers that Newport Beach locals enjoyed their own tradition of live big band music and dancing on New Year’s Eve at the historic Balboa Rendezvous Ballroom. Stan Kenton was a favorite at the Rendezvous. A nearly 30-minute recorded radio broadcast featuring some remarkably progressive sounds for the day from Kenton and his orchestra preserves the first minutes of 1953, and it offers us a unique audio peak into the past at the famed Rendezvous Ballroom.

The venue, which was located on the Balboa Peninsula just a few blocks from the Balboa Pavilion, was destroyed by fire in 1966. Some of the history of the Rendezvous Ballroom can be found here.

Happy New Year!

Stan Kenton at the Balboa Rendezvous Ballroom in the wee hours of January 1, 1953 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ_tEKNTVuI

Auld Lang Syne in Big Band style
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRGYScgv6Mo

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