Oh, Wayne Newton. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get enough solid Wayne Newton time these days. It’s a shame, really. The voice of a songbird dressed as a Native-American Las Vegas crooner, Carson Wayne Newton is known to many people by many names. Mr. Entertainment and The Midnight Idol to name a few, Mr. Las Vegas is still performing at the young age of 74, and has a series of upcoming shows in Vegas starting on 11/28 and going through the end of the year. If you find yourself pulling slots and huffing secondhand smoke in the middle of an air conditioned desert, spend a few intimate hours with this Sin City legend.
The Best of Wayne Newton Live was one of the first 20 or so records I’ve ever owned (somewhat mystifying now, if you think about it), and it opened the door for many other exceedingly entertaining records released by Mr. Las Vegas to join the collection.
Acquired for roughly $3.98 from a Madison, WI Half Price Books back in 1997, this album got frequent spins during my first semester of college, and remains a critical part of those early collecting days. I distinctly remember listening mainly to the b-side, which consists of three medleys. This is only notable since the a-side contains Newton-ized versions of Live and Let Die, Hard to Handle, You’ve Got a Friend, and (Take Me Home) Country Roads. But the b-side included 45 seconds of Danke Schone, so there you go. For reasons that escape me, the track that stands out the most, some 17 years later, is Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast. I have no idea why this song hit me at the tender age of 18, but, I suppose, some mysteries are better left unsolved.