Las Vegas Legends

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
- Frank Sinatra

 

 

 

The official Frank Sinatra site is Sinatra.com, there you'll find a handy timeline of Fank's career

MORE LAS
VEGAS LEGENDS:

Frank Sinatra

Dean Martin

Dean Martin Live in Las Vegas

Frank Sinatra
with Dean Martin

Jerry Vale

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elvis

Lola Falana

Don Rickles

Sonny & Cher

The Supremes

Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows

Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy

Louis Prima

Pat Cooper

Johnny Carson

Mort Lindsey

Liberace

Joan Rivers

Las Vegas Postcards

Totie Fields

Wayne Newton

George Carlin

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme

Redd Foxx

Las Vegas & The Mob

Henny Youngman

Rodney Dangerfield

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1970s

How Las Vegas Has Changed Since the 1960s

More on How Las Vegas Has Changed Over the Years

BONUS: Garry Shandling in Las Vegas

 

FRANK SINATRA IN LAS VEGAS / Las Vegas legend Frank Sinatra

"May you live to be 100 and may
the last voice you hear be mine."

- Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra photoAs far as Las Vegas goes there are several 'Kings' - Elvis, obviously, he earned the nickname.

But Frank Sinatra, The Chairman of the Board, was the true King of Las Vegas in my opinion. His whole persona, his swagger came to define the town he ruled. Sure, Elvis made the ladies scream and created turmoil on the Strip but it was Sinatra's cool way that won over Sin City and propelled him to greater heights over an amazing 40 year run.

Sinatra made his Las Vegas debut in 1951 at The Desert Inn casino, a year later he was dropped by his record company and his TV series was cancelled. He even attempted suicide - but a career rebirth was in the cards.

In 1953, Sinatra signed with Capitol Records, he was given free reign with the best arrangers and musicians in the business. Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May came through with a series of phenomenal albums featuring more emotional material than he was accustomed to recording. He adopted a hip, "swinging" persona for top-selling albums like Swing Easy! (1954), Songs For Swingin' Lovers! (1956), and Come Fly With Me (1957). Frank was back on top, becoming a huge draw in Vegas in particular; by far the most imitated performer in the gambling capitol of the world.

After a brief time at The Desert Inn, one of those old school gambling 'joints' never considered a top flight place, Frank made his home at The Sands Hotel and casino. He almost single handedly changed Las Vegas from a sleepy western town to a more sophisticated destination. Men in tuxes with ladies in evening gowns gambled the night away playing Black Jack, Poker, Keno, roulette or pulling the arm of the ubiquitous slot machines.

Here is home movie footage of The Sand's 4th Anniversary party attended by 1950s Las Vegas royalty including Jerry Lewis and Danny Thomas.

 

Frank Sinatra and The Sands Hotel became almost synonymous, making it the top gambling destination in Las Vegas. He was so much at home Sinatra's amazing first live album, Sinatra at the Sands, was recorded during January and February 1966.

 

Sinatra moved over to Caesars Palace in November 1968. But there was an incident at the card tables where casino executive Sanford Waterman pulled a gun on Sinatra after a loud argument over gambling credit. Sinatra was threatened with arrest. That soured Sinatra on the hotel and Las Vegas, prompting him to 'retire' in 1970. His retirement lasted until 1974 when the crooner returned to Caesars Palace.

Frank Sinatra & John Wayne
Frank Sinatra & John Wayne

Later, Sinatra moved over to the brand new MGM Grand showroom, home of pal Dean Martin.

Frank Sinatra ended his Sin City run in 1992 when he celebrated his 77th birthday with a special night - where he started, at The Desert Inn. By then he was stumbling through the songs he'd sung so masterfully for decades.
Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas

 

 

Paul Anka said in 1993 about Frank Sinatra, "If I know this man, he must work. To tell him he can't work -- it ain't gonna fly."

Let's watch Frank Sinatra work - in concert in Vegas in 1978:

 

Don Rickles really socked it to Frank during this Dean Martin Roast, a regular feature of the final season of Dean's TV series. The Roasts were so popular NBC ordered several a year for the next decade.

 

Frank Sinatra / Las Vegas legendary performer

Frank Sinatra - a truly timeless entertainer!

FRANK SINATRA
IN LAS VEGAS

YOUR GO-GO HOST: Billy Ingram

 

Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra in Vegas

RARE SINATRA TREAT!
Monologue from The Bar - Frank Sinatra
& Dean Martin live in the summer of 1977.

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