Lombardo's band performs in Bradenton

January 23, 2014 

If you love big band dance music and you were alive in the 1940s and '50s, chances are you love the music of Guy Lombardo.

Lombardo himself died in 1977, but his band, Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians, is carrying on his legacy. They'll be in Bradenton on Sunday afternoon for a concert in the Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida's Bradenton campus.

Lombardo and his band were probably best known for their New Year's Eve performances, and they're credited with making "Auld Lang Syne" a staple of the holiday.

But they sold more than hundred million records, which was an impressive feat in their era, they remained popular with record buyers from the late 1920s into the '50s.

The band dissolved within a few years of Lombardo's death.

But big band leader Al Pierson revived the Royal Canadians in 1989, and he's been leading the band ever since.

Pierson has been praised for both faithfully re-creating the sound of the band in its Lombardo days and for incorporating a more contemporary repertoire to maintain the band's popularity.

Details: 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton. Tickets: $30. Information: 941-752-5252, www.scf.edu.

-- Marty Clear

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