Carson Wayne Newton (born
April 3, 1942) is an American singer and
entertainer based in Las Vegas,
He performed over 30,000 solo shows in Las
Vegas over a period of over 40 years, earning him the nickname
Mr. Las Vegas
. His best known songs
include 1972's "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" (his biggest hit,
peaking at #4 on the Billboard
charts), "Years" (1980),
his vocal version of "Red
Roses for a Blue Lady
" (1965), and his signature song
, "Danke Schoen
Life and career
born in Roanoke,
Virginia to Evelyn
Marie "Smith" (née
Plasters) and Patrick Newton, who was an auto mechanic.
father was of Irish
descent and his mother of German
While his father was in the U.S.
Navy, Newton spent his early childhood in Roanoke, learning
the piano, guitar, and steel guitar at the age of six.
Newton was still a child, his family moved to a home near Newark, Ohio.
He began singing in local clubs, theaters,
and fairs with his older brother, Jerry
. Because of his connection with Newark,
the city selected Newton to be the grand marshal of its
bicentennial parade in 2002. Wayne's severe asthma forced the family to
move to Phoenix,
Arizona, where he attended North High School in 1952.
brothers, as the Rascals in Rhythm, appeared with the Grand Ole Opry roadshows and on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee; and performed for the
president and auditioned unsuccessfully for Ted Mack's Original Amateur
In the spring of 1958, toward the end of Wayne's junior year in
high school, a Las Vegas booking agent saw a local TV show on which
the two Newton brothers were performing and took them back for an
audition. Originally signed for two weeks, the brothers eventually
performed for five years, doing six shows a day. On September 29,
1962, they first performed on The Jackie Gleason Show
would perform on Gleason's show 12 times over the following two
Many other entertainment icons such as Lucille Ball
, Danny Thomas
, George Burns
, and Jack
lent Newton their support. In particular, Benny hired
Newton as an opening act for his show. After his job with
Benny ended, Newton was offered a job to open for another comic at
Hotel, but Newton asked for, and was given, a headline
to 1982 Newton was part owner of the Aladdin Hotel, in a partnership that led to a number of lawsuits
and a failed attempt by Newton to purchase the entire hotel in
In 1994, Newton performed his 25,000th solo show in Las
Newton signed a 10-year deal with the Stardust, calling for him to perform there 40 weeks out of
the year for six shows a week in a showroom named after him.
in preparation for the eventual demolition of the casino, the deal
was, from all reports, amicably terminated; Newton began a 30-show
stint that summer at the Hilton.
His last show at the Stardust was on April
20, 2005. During a break in his on stage performance, he announced
to the crowd that night he wanted to spend more time with his wife
and new daughter as the main reasonings for canceling the contract.
Newton said the Boyd family made him a very nice offer to stay on
past the demolition of the hotel and casino and to play in other
Boyd venues, but Newton declined citing "another deal in the works
for Vegas", but he did not mention the Hilton specifically. News
crews were expecting this performance to end on time, to make their
10 pm and 11 pm shows, but the show finally ended around 11:30 pm,
thus eliminating the possibility. Mr. Las Vegas went on at 7:30
that night, and sang nearly his entire repertoire and songs of
other Vegas mainstays as well.
Newton was elected to the Gaming
Hall of Fame
In 2001, Newton succeeded Bob Hope
chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle. In January 2005, Newton
started a reality television
called The Entertainer
. The winner
got a spot in his act, plus a headlining act of their own for a
year. And recently during player introductions at the 2007 NBA
All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, Newton sang Elvis Presley
's"Viva Las Vegas."
was the grand marshal of the 80th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom
Festival in Winchester, Virginia, May 1–7, 2007.
He canceled a sold-out show
to join the Festival.
Newton was featured on the 2007 fall season of Dancing with the
partnered with two-time champion Cheryl Burke
. He became the third contestant to
be eliminated from the contest. During the taping (which takes place at
Television City, he also became the first guest on The Price Is Right,
which tapes next door, under host Drew
Carey, who began adding guests to the show, especially to
Newton appeared after a trip to Las Vegas
In 2008, Newton received a Woodrow
Wilson Award for Public Service
. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, a national memorial to President Wilson,
commemorates "the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson."
The award honors
leaders who have given back to their communities.
Beginning October 14th, 2009 he will begin performing his newest
show "Once Before I Go" at the Tropicana in Las Vegas.
In 1968, Newton married Elaine Okamura, and they adopted a daughter
before divorcing in 1985. Newton's brother, Jerry, was the best man
at the wedding. But within a year, the two were estranged, a
situation that continued for more than three decades.
Newton married the former Kathleen McCrone, a lawyer from Rocky River,
The couple has one daughter, born in
In 1992, Newton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
to reorganize an
estimated $20 million in debts, much of which was accumulated while
suing NBC for libel; the network had reported that he partnered
with the Mafia
to buy the Aladdin. His
bankruptcy declaration included a $341,000 Internal Revenue Service tax lien
. By 1999, he was financially well off
In August 2005, the IRS filed a lawsuit against Newton alleging
that he and his wife owed more than $1.8 million in taxes and
penalties. One of Newton's tax lawyers disputed that, saying, "We
believe the IRS owes him money."
Quotes about Newton
- "Advertisements throughout the airport
showed enormous pictures of Newton, microphone in hand, as he
performed at the Aladdin Hotel. A taxi ride into the city required driving
on Wayne Newton Boulevard. If a visitor was very lucky, his driver
might tell him that his arrival date coincided with the celebration
by the people of Las Vegas of Wayne Newton Day. And if one asked
the driver what he thought of Wayne Newton (as I always did), the
answer was invariably positive. Newton was good for tourism, one
was told; he was good for taxi drivers, too, having entertained
many of them for free at various points during his entertainment
reign in Las Vegas. More important, Newton was the embodiment of
Las Vegas, its ambassador to the world." Floyd Abrams, on arriving in 1986 into Las
Vegas to represent the National Broadcasting
Company against Wayne Newton in a
famous libel suit.
serving the main terminal of McCarran
International Airport in Las Vegas is named Wayne Newton Boulevard in his
- "Heart! (I Hear You Beating)"
(Capitol 4920) - US Pop #82, 1963
- "Danke Schoen"
(Capitol 4989) - US Pop #13/Easy Listening #3, 1963
- "Shirl Girl" (Capitol 5058) - US Pop #58/Easy
Listening #18, 1963
Little White Cloud That Cried" (Challenge 59238) - US
Pop #99, 1964
- "Comin' On Too Strong" (Capitol 5338) - US Pop
- "Red Roses for a
Blue Lady" (Capitol 5366) - US Pop #23/Easy Listening
- " Apple Blossom
Time" (Capitol 5419) - US Pop #52/Easy Listening #17,
- "Summer Wind"
(Capitol 5470) - US Pop #78/Easy Listening #9, 1965
- "Remember When" (Capitol 5514) - US Pop
#69/Easy Listening #15, 1965
- "Some Sunday Morning" (Capitol 5553) - US Pop
#123/Easy Listening #23, 1965
- "Stagecoach to Cheyenne" (Capitol 5643) - US
Pop #113/Easy Listening #23, 1966
- "Games That Lovers Play" (Capitol 5754) - US
Pop #86/Easy Listening #22, 1966
- "Sunny Day Girl" (Capitol 5842) - US Easy
Listening #23, 1967
- "Summer Colors" (Capitol 5954) - US Easy
Listening #20, 1967
- "Through the Eyes of Love" (Capitol 5993) - US
Easy Listening #26, 1967
- "Love of
the Common People" (Capitol 2016) - US Pop #106/Easy
Listening #33, 1967
- "All the Time" (MGM 13891) - US Easy Listening
- "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" (MGM 13955)
- US Pop #60/Easy Listening #14, 1968
- "Husbands and Wives" (MGM 14014) - US Easy
Listening #28, 1969
- "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City"
(MGM 14083) - US Easy Listening #28, 1969
- "Daddy Don't
You Walk So Fast" (Chelsea 0100) - US Pop #4/Easy
Listening #3, 1972 (certified Gold)
- "Can't You Hear the Song?" (Chelsea 0105) - US
Pop #48/Easy Listening #3, 1972
- "Anthem" (Chelsea 0109) - US Pop #65,
- "Pour Me a Little More Wine" (Chelsea 0091) -
US Easy Listening #26, 1973
- "Lady Lay (Chelsea 3003) - US Pop #101/Easy
Listening #47, 1974
- "The Hungry Years" (Chelsea 3041) - US Pop
#82/Easy Listening #11, 1976
- "You Stepped Into My Life" (Aries II 101) - US
Pop #90, 1979
- "I Apologize" (Aries II 107) - US Adult
Contemporary #45, 1979
- "Years" (Aries II 108) - US Pop #35/Adult
Contemporary #40, 1980
- "The Letter (Curb 1008) - hit #1 on the Cash
Box Top 100 on December 12, 1992 (but did not make the Billboard
Hot 100); also known as "The Elvis Letter"
- The Lucy Show (Season 4
Episode 14, 12-27-65) Where the 23 year old Newton plays a
fictional character named. . ."Wayne Newton". He sings 3 songs in
the half hour episode: "Side By
Side", "Bessie The Heifer" and "You're Nobody 'Til
Somebody Loves You".
- Bonanza (1966) In 1966, Newton
played the character "Andy Walker" in two episodes of the TV series
- In 1990, Newton appeared on the TV series Full House in the episode entitled Viva Las
- In 1991, Newton appeared on the TV series Roseanne in the episode entitled
- In 1991, he played an opposing counsel in an episode of the TV
series L.A. Law.
- Newton made several guest appearances in the TV series
- In 1995, Newton played the manager of a Las Vegas casino in the
TV series The Fresh
Prince of Bel-Air in the episode entitled Viva Lost
- Newton also appeared on an episode of the TV series
That '70s Show.
- Newton appeared on MTV's reality show "Pimp my Ride"
- Newton appeared on "My Wife and
- Newton appeared on an episode of "7th
Heaven" titled "Wayne's World".
- Newton also had a guest appearance on one of the episodes in
the "Perfect Strangers" series which ended its run in 1993.
with the Stars (2007) (Contestant)
Family Feud (2008) (Contestant)