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Carmen Lombardo

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Carmen Lombardo
Lombardo c. 1935
Lombardo in 1935
BornJuly 16, 1903
London, Ontario, Canada
DiedApril 17, 1971 (aged 67)
Miami, Florida

Carmen Lombardo (July 16, 1903 – April 17, 1971) was lead saxophonist and featured vocalist for his brother Guy Lombardo's orchestra. He was also a successful composer. In 1927, Carmen Lombardo was the vocalist of the hit record Charmaine, performed by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians.

Early years[edit]

Lombardo was born in London, Ontario, Canada. As a child, he took flute lessons, and later learned to play saxophone.

He had three brothers who also became musicians: Guy, Lebert, and Victor.[1]


As a young man played in the Lombardo Brothers Concert Company with Guy on violin and another brother, Lebert, on trumpet or piano.[2] As the band grew, Guy became conductor, and the band developed into The Royal Canadians in 1923, in which Carmen both sang and wrote music.[3]

He frequently collaborated with American composers and his music was recorded by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and others. Many of his compositions have also been used in Woody Allen films. When singing songs like "Alone at a Table for Two" he would allow his voice to tremble, and seem nearly to break into tears- he was caricatured in Warner Brothers cartoons as "Cryman" Lombardo.

In the late 1960s, actor-raconteur Tony Randall made several TV appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in which he sang songs written by Carmen Lombardo in a voice imitating (and somewhat exaggerating) Lombardo's style. On one appearance, Lombardo and Randall performed a duet of Lombardo's "Boo Hoo (You've Got Me Crying for You)", which was one of the songs that Randall typically included in his Lombardo routine.


Lombardo died of cancer in Miami in 1971, aged 67.[4]

Compositions by Carmen Lombardo[edit]

Lombardo's popular compositions included:

  • The 1928 classic "Sweethearts on Parade", which was number one for three weeks in 1929 on the U.S. pop charts of the day.[5]
  • "A Lane in Spain", a popular recording by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra in 1927.
  • "Ridin' Around in the Rain", written with Gene Austin in 1934. Popular versions were by Austin, Bing Crosby and Earl Burtnett.
  • "Coquette",
External audio
audio icon Hear Carmen Lombardo's:
"A Sailboat in the Moonlight"
played by Guy Lombardo & Carmen Lombardo in 1950
Here on Archive.org'

Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb's 1942 song "There Won't Be a Shortage of Love" was the first song written in response to American government rationing in World War II.[9]

He wrote five songs for the 1934 film Many Happy Returns, in which the orchestra appeared.[10]

Lombardo wrote the words and music with John Jacob Loeb for Guy Lombardo's stage productions of Arabian Nights (1954, 1955), Paradise Island (1961, 1962), and Mardi Gras (1965, 1966) at Jones Beach Marine Theater, New York.[3]


  1. ^ "Clipped From The Amarillo Globe-Times". The Amarillo Globe-Times. 1934-04-17. p. 7. Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  2. ^ Elaine Keillor (18 March 2008). Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-7735-3391-2.
  3. ^ a b "Carmen Lombardo". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "Carmen Lombardo Dead at 67; Helped Lead Royal Canadians". New York Times, April 18, 1971, Robert E. Tomasson
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 276. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  6. ^ Don Tyler (2 April 2007). Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-7864-2946-2.
  7. ^ Warren W. Vaché (2000). The Unsung Songwriters: America's Masters of Melodies. Scarecrow Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-8108-3570-2.
  8. ^ "Carmen Lombardo biography" Archived 2010-06-22 at the Wayback Machine, songwritershalloffame.org, accessed February 15, 2010
  9. ^ John Bush Jones (2006). The Songs that Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945. UPNE. pp. 211–. ISBN 978-1-58465-443-8.
  10. ^ Spoonts, Lucille (April 17, 1934). "Lombardo Brothers Agree on Two Things -- Fishing and Music; Dynamos of Energy". The Amarillo Globe-Times. Texas, Amarillo. The Amarillo Globe-Times. p. 7. Retrieved February 11, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon

External links[edit]