with his age- and gravity-defying hair
By Michael Henningsen
Saturday, Dec. 11; Route 66 Casino (21 and over, 7:30 p.m.): How did Wayne Newton get so famous? Christ, how does he stay so tan? The answer to the former will perhaps never be understood by mere mortals. As for the answer to the latter ... well, just ask George Hamilton the next time you bump into him at IHOP.
The story of Wayne Newton is as quizzical and interesting as any: from 21-year-old girly-voiced sensation who sang “Danke Shoen” right to the top of every known chart in 1963 to shoe-polish coifed owner of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino and commander of $1 million per month for his performances a scant 15 years later. There have long been rumors that the mob had something to do with bankrolling Mr. Newton on the road to unfathomable and otherwise inexplicable success, and there have surely been tens if not hundreds of thousands of unhappy middle-aged housewives who've clipped coupons and saved S&H Green Stamps for years in order to get those coveted front-row seats. But whatever the reasons, Mr. Las Vegas remains one of the most recognizable entertainers the world has ever known. And he's even had some meritous hits along the way: “Daddy Don't Walk So Fast” is an absolute classic, as is “Red Roses for a Blue Lady.” And, owing to the outright absurdity of Newton's level of fame, everyone should hear those songs from the man himself at least once before they die.
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Erika Wennerstrom • singer-