Happy New Year! New Year's Eve at the Rheo Blair House

Note: This is a re-post from 2008 but it's time to share it again. Thank you for your continued enthusiastic support. I wish each and every one of you the happiest and most prosperous 2011!

Rheo Blair loved people and parties, and everyone looked forward to the annual New Years Eve celebration at his home. People began arriving in the early evening bringing (healthy) dishes. Rheo usually supplied two of his favorite foods: roast turkey and his special deviled eggs. Later in the evening, as the house was filled with friends, the entertainment began, usually including many of his famous and accomplished musical friends. One of these was concert pianist Mario Feninger (at whose home Lorraine and I will be enjoying a New Year's Day party tomorrow). As midnight approached at Blair House, Rheo Blair himself, a terrific showman with a very fine voice, took the microphone and was accompanied by Bob Ralston, the famous and brilliant organist/pianist from the Lawrence Welk television show. Bob, the master of ceremonies for the evening, would also give us a number of fine solos on Rheo's black Baldwin piano. Rheo and Bob were a fabulous combination.
Rheo sang many wonderful songs, including one of his favorites, "California Here We Come," but what everyone really wanted to hear was his rendition of Nelson Eddy songs. Nelson Eddy was Rheo's hero and his singing voice sounded very VERY similar to Nelson Eddy's.

I wish I had a video of him singing at one of these parties to share with you here. Alas, I do not. But to give you a bit of flavor from a typical Rheo Blair New Year's party please enjoy the three wonderful Youtube videos below of Mario Feninger, Bob Ralston, and Nelson Eddy, respectively. So, grab some turkey and deviled eggs, pull up a chair and enjoy a little New Year's celebration a la Rheo Blair.

Happy New Year!
Have a wonderful 2011!

Mario Feninger plays in his Hollywood, California home:

Bob Ralston plays Cumana from an episode of the Lawrence Welk Show. Imagine attending a New Year's Eve party with this man entertaining!

And now, in memory of of Rheo and his beautiful Nelson Eddy-like voice, Nelson Eddy sings a ballad from the 1939 movie "Let Freedom Ring"

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