Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Eve in Los Angeles 75 years ago

As 1936 gave way to 1937, a precursor to Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve held court in Los Angeles. NBC radio networks, along with KFI and KECA, broadcast the 'sounds of America dancing, shouting and singing' from such locales as New York, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Locally KHJ broadcast both Phil Harris's Palomar Orchestra, and Duke Ellington's Orchestra performing at Sebastian's Cotton Club.

Just as in decades past, Broadway was blocked off from First to Ninth streets to the delight (and safety) of the teaming throngs. The Los Angeles Times noted that it was 'the greatest New Year's Eve celebration the city had seen in many years.' It was also noted that the crowds were orderly and 'according to police observers, there was a marked absence of destructive rowdyism, public drunkenness and crime'.