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Las Vegas Legends

Las Vegas in 1977

Las Vegas in 1977

Vintage Las Vegas1977. It was the year Las Vegas lost its biggest draw, Elvis Presley.

Elvis first attempted a Vegas foothold in the 1950s but it was a not successful, his hip-shaking rockabilly persona was a considered a vulgar affront to the well-dressed, cool cat Rat Pack crowd. It was Frank, Dean, and Sammy that defined this desert oasis.

But in 1964 Elvis filmed and recorded one of his signature hit movies and songs, "Viva Las Vegas!", a tune that surprisingly The Strip didn't immediately adopt that tune as its own and it would not be part of Elvis' set list even when he appeared at the Hilton in Vegas.

Most musical entertainers typically would appear for a two week engagement while Elvis' runs were a month long affair. It's been said that, had Elvis not arrived on the scene, there would have been no Wayne Newton and this resort town in all likelihood would have shrunk not grown in the massive way that it has. It was Elvis that flooded The Strip with tourists from the midwest and elsewhere that brought millions in cash with them, much of it left at the crap tables and in the ubiquitous slot machines.

A TV special, 'Happy Birthday, Las Vegas' was broadcast in October of 1977 with stars Don Meredith and Cindy Williams with Vegas headliners Charo, Eddy Arnold, Foster Brooks, Rodney Dangerfield, Sammy Davis Jr., Totie Fields, Liberace, and Dionne Warwick among others to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the town.

 

These videos show us what glittering, shimmering Las Vegas was like at night in 1977 with a look at old school casinos like The Golden Nugget, Dunes, MGM Grand, Flamingo, Holiday, Stardust, Frontier, Circus Circus, 4 Queens, Caesar's Palace and more.

Boy, do I miss the Las Vegas of old, look at all of that neon! Daily Mail: Revealed in rare retrospective photographs are the vintage cars parked outside casinos for a weekend escape, swim-up gambling tables, and the glamour of 1950's showgirls. The city that lured Hollywood's glitterati including Elvis Presley and Gene Kelly is strikingly different to the illuminated, bustling hot spot of today. 

 

 

Finally, a look at Vegas in 1979. This was the year the Liberace Museum opened near city, it was Vegas' only museum for decades.

1970s: Las Vegas in 1977

 

Don Cherry, Vegas lounge singer and pro golfer on discovering Elvis: I worked with Jerry Vale at the Amory in Cleveland, I would do my show and then Jerry would come on. Bill Randall, who was a disc jockey in those days, came to us and said, "There's a guy down in Memphis, Colonel Parker, who has a kid that he's promoting who made an album, do you mind if the kid plays in between the two of you?" So they put Elvis on between the two of us. That was the first time anyone ever heard of Elvis.

One night in a nightclub in Queens Jerry Vale came over to me, he hadn't even started yet I think, and said, "Everybody says I sing like you." He never forgot that. He said that was one of the greatest compliments he ever got, that he sang like Don Cherry. He's a very nice guy, he's a wonderful singer, he likes to play golf, too.

 

 

Stuff you might not find at other web sites - Vegas Legends collects obscure stories about the greatest entertainers of all time! With rare performances from the casino showrooms and from the world of Television.

Frank Sinatra

Dean Martin

Sammy Davis Jr Story

Dean Martin Live in Las Vegas

Frank Sinatra
with Dean Martin

Las Vegas in 1977

John Oliver: Las Vegas Is the Worst Place on Earth!

Jerry Vale

More Jerry Vale

George Burns

Don Rickles' Last Carson Appearance

Joan Rivers vs Johnny Carson

Angie Dickinson

Remembering Bobby Darin

Who Killed Elvis?

Viva Las Vegas!

Sammy Davis, Jr.

Elvis

Las Vegas in the 1950s

Lola Falana

Don Rickles

Don Rickles' Last Show

Sonny & Cher

The Supremes

Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows

Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy

Louis Prima

Pat Cooper

Johnny Carson

Mort Lindsey

Liberace

Red Buttons

Ernest Borgnine on Frank & Dean

Harlan Ellison vs Frank Sinatra

What Las Vegas Looked Like Under Lockdown

Donny & Marie Are Calling It Quits

Totie Fields

Sinatra's First Palm Springs Home

Phyllis Diller: An Appreciation

Steve Allen

Betty White on Don Rickles

Totie Fields

Sinatra's First Palm Springs Home

Phyllis Diller: An Appreciation

Steve Allen

Betty White on Don Rickles

Elvis' Background Singers

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

Vegas Fashion

Joan Rivers

Las Vegas Postcards

BONUS: Garry Shandling in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Legends

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