Bands: The Royal Floridians

"You'll have to play faster here, or I don't think you'll make it," said Ernst.

Ernst was the maitre d' at Manhattan's Hotel Roosevelt Grill, and he was talking to 27-year-old Guy Lombardo the night the Royal Canadians opened there. A Chicago critic had called Lombardo's airs "the sweetest music this side of heaven," but still it made Ernst nervous. Lombardo was leaving out the boop-poop-a and just giving the dew. But Lombardo ignored him and kept fogging it into the room—for 33 years—to become one of the most popular and durable performers in U.S. show business. He...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!