Mr. Las Vegas

Mr. Las Vegas

March 23, 2006K
nown as “Mr. Las Vegas” for his many years performing in Sin City casinos, Wayne Newton has logged more than 50 years as one of the world’s most popular entertainers. Newton will be at the Alys Stephens Center April 1, two days before his 64th birthday. Considering his slick persona, it’s odd that Newton entered show business as a 10-year-old in a traveling version of the Grand Ole Opry. By the mid-1960s, his soprano voice had established him as a pop star with hits like “Red Roses for a Blue Lady” and “Danke Schoen.” However, Newton’s high-pitched voice made him the butt of jokes, including a barrage from Johnny Carson. In the late 1970s, Newton had had enough and stormed into Carson’s office at NBC Studios, where he physically threatened The Tonight Show host.

Wayne Newton (Mr. Las Vegas) entertains at the Alys Stephens Center. (click for larger version)

The Carson-Newton feud involved more than jokes, however. In 1980, Carson attempted to purchase the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The Aladdin was under investigation at the time for alleged ties to organized crime. Carson and an associate reportedly kept changing the terms of the deal, which finally fell through. Wayne Newton bought the casino several months later. The singer remains a Las Vegas mainstay, still performing five nights a week at The Flamingo, where the advertisements for Newton’s show read: “As Vegas as Vegas Gets.” Wayne Newton will be at the Alys Stephens Center April 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60. Call 975-2787 for more information.


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