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Carson Wayne Newton (born April 3, 1942) is an Americanmarker singer and entertainer based in Las Vegas, Nevadamarker. 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" (1963).

Life and career

Newton was born in Roanoke, Virginiamarker to Evelyn Marie "Smith" (née Plasters) and Patrick Newton, who was an auto mechanic. His father was of Irish-Powhatan descent and his mother of German-Cherokee ancestry. While his father was in the U.S. Navy, Newton spent his early childhood in Roanokemarker, learning the piano, guitar, and steel guitar at the age of six.

While Newton was still a child, his family moved to a home near Newark, Ohiomarker. 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, Arizonamarker, where he attended North High School in 1952. The brothers, as the Rascals in Rhythm, appeared with the Grand Ole Oprymarker roadshows and on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee; and performed for the president and auditioned unsuccessfully for Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour.

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. He would perform on Gleason's show 12 times over the following two years.

Many other entertainment icons such as Lucille Ball, Bobby Darin, Danny Thomas, George Burns, and Jack Benny 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 the Flamingo Hotelmarker, but Newton asked for, and was given, a headline act.

From 1980 to 1982 Newton was part owner of the Aladdin Hotelmarker, in a partnership that led to a number of lawsuits and a failed attempt by Newton to purchase the entire hotel in 1983.

In 1994, Newton performed his 25,000th solo show in Las Vegas.

In 1999, Newton signed a 10-year deal with the Stardustmarker, calling for him to perform there 40 weeks out of the year for six shows a week in a showroom named after him. In 2005, 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 Hiltonmarker. 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 2000.

In 2001, Newton succeeded Bob Hope as chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle. In January 2005, Newton started a reality television show on E! 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."

Newton was the grand marshal of the 80th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Virginiamarker, 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 Stars 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 CBS Television Citymarker, 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 present prizes. Newton appeared after a trip to Las Vegas was shown.

In 2008, Newton received a Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholarsmarker, 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.

Family

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.

In 1994, Newton married the former Kathleen McCrone, a lawyer from Rocky River, Ohiomarker. The couple has one daughter, born in 2002.

Finances

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 again.

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 Hotelmarker. 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.


Namesakes

The road serving the main terminal of McCarran International Airportmarker in Las Vegas is named Wayne Newton Boulevard in his honor.

Hit singles

  • "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
  • "The Little White Cloud That Cried" (Challenge 59238) - US Pop #99, 1964
  • "Comin' On Too Strong" (Capitol 5338) - US Pop #65, 1965
  • "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" (Capitol 5366) - US Pop #23/Easy Listening #4, 1965
  • " Apple Blossom Time" (Capitol 5419) - US Pop #52/Easy Listening #17, 1965
  • "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 #26, 1968
  • "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, 1973
  • "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"


Filmography



TV credits

  • 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 Bonanza.
  • In 1990, Newton appeared on the TV series Full House in the episode entitled Viva Las Joey.
  • In 1991, Newton appeared on the TV series Roseanne in the episode entitled Vegas, Vegas.
  • 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 Las Vegas.
  • 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 Wages
  • 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 Kids"
  • 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.
  • Dancing with the Stars (2007) (Contestant)
  • Celebrity Family Feud (2008) (Contestant)


References

External links




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