Wayne Newton IS Las Vegas. It is true. It’s a staple there. He has been called Mr. Las Vegas, Mr. Entertainment and the Midnight Idol. He’s probably best known these days for “Danke Schoen,” his signature song, “which was used in the 1986 film” Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “If you’re a little older, you might remember her hits from the 1960s-1980s, including ‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’, ‘Daddy Don’t Walk So Fast’ and ‘Years’. Newton is a legend in Las Vegas, and arguably the world. Newton is 78 years old today and continues to live. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on April 3, 1942. He learned to play guitar, piano and steel guitar at the age of six. He grew up in Newark, Ohio, and began singing with his brother Jerry. Newton suffered from severe asthma, so the family moved to the drier climate of Phoenix, Arizona in 1952. As Rascals in Rhythm, he and his brother appeared at the Grand Ole Opry roadshows, in an ABC program called “Ozark Jubilee”, and performed for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1958, during the second semester of his freshman year of high school, a Las Vegas reservation agent saw Newton and his brother perform and invited them to audition for him. Wayne and Jerry ended up giving six shows a day for five years. In September 1962, they made the first of their 12 appearances in two years on the popular “Jackie Gleason Show”. In the early 1960s, Wayne entered the theater, appearing as Andy in “Bonanza”.
In 1963, Wayne signed a deal with Capitol Records. He released his debut album, containing the song “Danke Schoen”, which hit number 13 on the song charts. Newton was very popular with the headliners of the time in Las Vegas, including Lucille Ball, George Burns and Jack Benny. They have often hired it as the opening act for their popular shows. When Jack Benny’s contract at the Flamingo Hotel expired, Newton requested his own headliner number. He received it. Newton essentially grew up on the Las Vegas stages, changing from his high pitched voice of a teenage singer to a deeper, more masculine voice. In 1994, Newton performed his 25,000e solo show in Las Vegas. In 1999, he signed a 10-year contract with the Stardust, in which he performed in an exhibition hall that bears his name for six shows a week, 40 weeks a year. This was the first “headliner in residence” style contract in Las Vegas. These types of chords have become extremely popular ever since, with everyone from Celine Dion and Prince to Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and David Lee Roth, performing in this style of shows. Newton’s last show at the Stardust took place on April 20, 2005, before the iconic casino was demolished. He performed 30 shows that summer at the Las Vegas Hilton and amicably canceled his contract to spend more time with his second wife and their young daughter.
Newton presented his Mr. Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace to commemorate his 60th birthdaye year of performance in Las Vegas from late January to May 2019. At the time, he told reporters, “I was here when Caesars was built. This hotel has always been the flagship of the Strip to me.”
In the summer of 2020, Newton became the spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment in a series of TV spots promoting the reopening of hotels and casinos during the coronavirus pandemic.
Newton has loved horses since he was a child. He got his first horse when he was in sixth grade. In fact, he calls horses and music the two great loves of his life. Newton has been breeding Arabian horses since 1969 when he bought the stallion Naborr. He created six generations of over 700 foals in 2014. Ninety-six of his horses are champions. His breeding program is called Aramus Arabians, which is named after his champion stallion Aramus. In 1996 he received the Breeder of the Year award from the Arab Association of Professional and Amateur Riders. In 2007, Newton received the Arab Horse Breeders Association Award of Excellence for his work with the breed. Even today, at 78, Newton is still very involved in the breeding program of his horses, the management of his horses and the choice of horses to keep and sell.
Legal and financial matters
From 1980 to 1982, Newton was one of the owners of the Aladdin Hotel. The partnership he was involved in ended in lawsuits and Newton’s failed attempt in 1983 to buy the entire hotel for himself. Newton ended up with $ 20 million in debt linked to him suing NBC for libel when the network claimed he had partnered with the Mafia to buy the hotel and casino. He filed for bankruptcy in 1992. This included a lien of $ 341,000 by the IRS. By 1999, Newton had rebounded and was rich again.
In the summer of 2005, the IRS filed another lien against Newton, claiming he owed $ 1.8 million. His lawyer alleged that the IRS actually owed Newton money.
In late 2009, the Oakland County International Airport in Michigan accused Newton of owing more than $ 60,000 in unpaid parking fees for the $ 2 million Fokker F28 plane that Newton had parked there. down and scrapped in 2006. Basically the plane was in Michigan at this airport. for repairs. Newton dropped it off in 2005 and it was completed in 2007. At that point, the plane was moved to an outdoor parking lot, costing $ 5,000 per month. In 2009, the interior of the plane was moldy and rotting. The aircraft was dismantled, shipped and reassembled at the Casa de Shenandoah.
Also in 2009, Newton was sued for $ 32,384 for failing to pay a bill for hay delivered to Casa de Shenandoah for his precious Arabian horses. GMAC also attempted to sue Newton the same year for $ 36,999 owed on a Cadillac lease. This costume was eventually discontinued.
In early 2009, Monty Ward, Newton’s former personal pilot, was awarded $ 501,388 in a judgment for wage arrears related to a lawsuit filed in 2006. Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve civil papers and seize property as part of the judgment, but Newton’s staff did not. accept papers.
Casa de Shenandoah
In 1966, Newton began to acquire land on the corner of Sunset and Pecos in Las Vegas. Eventually, he amassed 40 acres with eight houses, a horse hospital, stables, bird pens and man-made lakes on the land. In 2010, Newton sold 80% of it to a developer for $ 19.5 million. They were going to turn the property into a museum and theme park. Those plans failed, and the developer sued Newton, claiming he spent $ 50 million on upgrades and Newton refused to leave home. Newton has also been charged with sexual harassment of construction workers. In mid-December 2012, the sale of Casa de Shenandoah was approved by the bankruptcy court judge. It was put on the market for $ 70 million and eventually sold, in the summer of 2019, for just over $ 5 million.
Personally, Newton has been married twice and has two daughters. He married Elaine Okamura in 1968. Their daughter Erin was born on July 25, 1976. Wayne and Elaine divorced in 1985. In 1994, Newton married Kathleen McCrone. Their daughter Lauren was born on April 19, 2002.