Can you believe how quick time flies? Yesterday was Christmas day and almost another year has gone by. As Santa tucks himself in for the year, Father Time will soon make his arrival greeting us with yet another year and a host of celebrations and it got me thinking…
Celebrating New Years Eve sure has gotten different over the years. As a kid New Years Eve was about having a few friends spend the night, and staying up to watch Dick Clarks Rockin’ New Years Eve Show. It sure has come a long way from me watching Helen Reddy, Three Dog night, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Pointer Sisters, Billy Preston, Linda Ronstadt and Tower Of Power from who has been appearing as of late.
Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve began in 1972. It was a musical variety show and remote broadcasts from Times Square in New York City which counted down the hours and minutes until the New Year ball dropped to signal the end of the year. It was always fun to watch as a kid, and many of the musical acts were fun to watch. Time Square was a blast to watch and as a kid I wanted to be there and as an adult I was glad I wasn’t.
Clark and his show became a New Year’s Eve tradition. But what did Americans do before Clark came in with his rocking socking New Years bash? Guy Lombardo of course. Guy Lombardo (a.k.a. “Mr. New Year’s Eve”), along with his big band orchestra hosted 21 consecutive New Year’s Eve shows from 1956 to 1976 on CBS. Yes I will admit it over and over, I indeed did watch this. Why not Guy was great!
I know it’s hard to believe, we all associate Dick Clark with New Years Eve, but Guy Lombardo’s first radio broadcast on New Year’s Eve was heard on December 31, 1928 over CBS Radio. He was the kind of New Years Eve. In fact, this great would end up hosting 48 straight New Year’s Eve broadcasts until his death in 1977. Come on? Who could forget his “Auld Lang Syne”?
Well as I reflect today on all of this, I feel rather old. Clark is in his 80s and no longer can host, the eternal teenager actually got old. Guy Lombardo passed on some time ago. So what we have left is Ryan Seacrest. No offense to Ryan, American Idol has helped him land some good gigs, however, he is not whom I want to bring the New Year in with. I associate him with American Idol and bantering with Simon Cowell.
What I have come to realize over the past few years is New Years can be whatever you want/need it to be. My parents used to set their alarm for 11:55pm and they would sit up for five minutes, count it down, kiss each other and go back to bed. Anymore, I just go to bed and do what I always do, hope I wake up the next day. I have no need to fight sleep and stay up watching Seacrest and the pop/rap music nor the need to wake up to kiss my spouse at midnight. I really have no desire to be out driving with all those who believe New Years is nothing more than drinking. So what I know is that when I go to bed New Years Eve and I awake, I will know a new day has arrived and am grateful for yet another day. I also am fully aware that I will now need to remember to write 2011 rather than 2010.
Don’t get me wrong. I love New Years day. Foe me, it’s about fun, people, food, reflecting, laughing and enjoying a new day. I like it far better than Christmas because the only gift we have to worry about is just the gift of joy and laughter. So with that in mind, have a happy and SAFE New Years and may 2011 bring you everything you want it to offer you. Oh yeah and for those who loved the old times, you can Youtube to get Dick Clark or Guy Lombardo, it’s all at our finger tips.