Las Vegas, Damnit!

A Sin City mix tape mini-series!

If you’ve gone this far in this Vegas Dump site…at most the dump site in general…you know I’m a man of many 
obsessions. Need I make a list here to remind you? The index page is nothing more than a door warning to abandon ye hope before you enter pop culture abuse hell.

One personal obsession that hasn’t been directly addressed anywhere on this site is an old one of mix tapes. Judging from the level of my personal involvement exhibited here, you can easily guess I went all out in this category, including making elaborate cassette covers to house these tapes of musical gems!

Go to my Rate Your Music page and witness the carnage I generated when I started on my ‘Nostalgia Series’ 
covering each decade of my youthful ears.

Doing a Las Vegas themed mix tape proved to be a small challenge as most compilations had the vibe of this city, but never ABOUT the town…..and how many times can you hear covers of Viva Las Vegas without wanting to set fire to the place.

I do enjoy the occasional collection of old lounge acts and their vanity recordings, mainly through the yearly Las 
Vegas Lounge Spectacular Special DJ Strike broadcasts through LuxuriaMusic.Com during the city’s anniversary, 
but there hasn’t been any audio recordings directly related to Vegas….

That was until ‘I’ll Take Las Vegas’, an on-line compilation made by Mr. Fab and offered through his insanely 
amazing (now former) blog Music For Maniacs. The tracks were standard but interesting lounge, but the title track got my attention. Singer Mike Hudson singing in pure low-end lounge fashion the praises of old Sin City. Click HERE to hear the song itself as I don’t have the nerve to quote the lyrics here.

Soon after listening to Fab’s set, my old mix tape bug bit me hard and I soon began to take the shovel to my stash 
and began to unearth some Sin City audio. This included sprinkling in some of my old KDWN radio spots for 
“personal flavor”.

What follows are, so far, the volumes and track that made up….LAS VEGAS, DAMNIT!

1) It’s Betting Time
2) Viva Las Vegas/Elvis Presley
(be smarky all you want, but you can’t deny the classics and this is the biggest in this category!)
3) I’ll Take Las Vegas/Mike Hudson
4) Theme From Vega$/Dominic Frontiere
5) Viva Shaf Vegas/Gene Pitney
(This was the theme from Paul Shaffer’s TV special of the same name that aired in the late 80’s on Showtime Network. It was basically Shaffer’s tour through the alley ways and lounges of Vegas. It was co-written by Harry Shearer. I can’t remember the plot though)
6) Christmas In Las Vegas/Los Straightjackets
7) Your Weekend In Las Vegas #1/Charles Supin-KDWN-AM
(there was an old weekly segment KDWN had on weekends where columnist Charles Supin would spend 4 minutes dishing out the show updates and lounge news three times a night. A small piece of old Vegas heaven)
8) Las Vegas Tango/Niles Cline Trio
(I don’t know much about these guys, but this was released in 1990 and it had a fine vibe that Friends Of Dean Martin would ape a couple of years later.)

9) Christmas In Las Vegas/Richard Cheese
10) Las Vegas/Walter Schaf
11) Your Weekend In Las Vegas #2/Charles Supin-KDWN-AM
12) Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes/I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine/I Love Vegas (Paris) (live)/Dean Martin
13) A Night On The Town...Drug Frenzy At The Circus Circus/Hunter S. Thompson
(this came from the audioplay of the ‘Fear & Loathing’ book that came out in during the 90’s)
14) Introduction/Sunny (Live at the Stardust Las Vegas 1969)/Esquivel & His Orchestra
(Mr. Space Age Bachelor Pad Music himself was made for this town and this rare live stereo recording provides a direct link between the two spectacular poles….at the Stardust, even!! Tracks like this proves that god does loves us all!)
15) Orbit Inn & Casino 1979 Grand opening/KDWN-AM
(a live radio broadcast of the opening of the horridly sci-fi motel & casino, Orbit Inn. I miss that place!)
16) The Paris Casino/Mitchel Brown
(this ambient of slots machines is from the off-beat and goofball documentary ‘Forever Friends’, some sort of a 
straight faced alternative rocker version of Spinal Tap
)
17) USA Part 2: The Battle of Las Vegas/RIAA
(This 22-minute track is a part of a MUCH larger collage album, USA, made by Mr. Fab’s alternative personality, R. I. A. A. All I can say about this and the album itself that it’s dense and a handful….and it’s 4 CD-R’s long! Anyways, RIAA take a trip through Vegas; warts, noise and all)
18) Viva Las Vegas/Johnny Depp & Dead Kennedys
(a little something from the ‘Fear & Loathing’ movie soundtrack with Depp setting things up for Gonzo’s escape and Jello Biafra belting…more like shrieking…one of Elvis’ signature tunes)
19) Cirque du Soleil/Patton Oswalt
(from his debut album, comic Oswalt explains the C. D. S. unification complex)
20) Sand Dunes/Bali-Hi Blair House/KDWN-AM
(since I’m trying to cover as much of the world of Vegas, its fake glamour included, I figured I might as well include some commercials of the old motel population that use to cling to the Strip and Fremont Blvd. Red Hat Motel, we miss you!)

1) Jingle Guy/Unknown Artist
(well, where do I start with this one? From a CD 
called Eavesdrop and it’s a compilation of 
cassette tape recordings found in thrift shops 
largely in the Las Vegas area. This track is an 
audition tape by a guy who wants to write 
commercial jungles and we get to hear a few.
)
2) Downtowner Motel/KDWN-AM
3) Las Vegas Cut/Knut Åsdam
4) Going Back To Las Vegas (live March 1992)
/The Pleasure Barons
(one of the best live Vegas albums ever was 
made by these guys; fronted by Country Dick 
Montana from The Beat Farmers, Dave Alvin 
from The Blasters and, the illegal Mexican 
firework on top of this drunken rampage of a 
tree, Mojo Nixon of Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper (of 
Elvis Is Everywhere fame). In this bootleg of a 
show in Santa Cruz, Mojo does what he does 
best, beat a song to its glorious death!....and this 
was BEORE they got to Vegas!!
)

5) Vegas/Steve Martin & Steven Wright
6) Your Weekend In Las Vegas #3 (New Year’s Eve Edition)/Charles Supin/KDWN-AM

7) Las Vegas/Joni Adams
8) Viva Las Vegas/ZZ Top
9) Breakfast In Vegas/Landmark Hotel & Casino/KDWN-AM
(another old weekly segment KDWN use to do was broadcasts from the Landmark Hotel and judging from this spot, it sounded pretty elaborate. Too damned bad I never heard these shows)
10) Las Vegas Celebrates its Centennial/Madeleine Brand/NPR
(this was from 2005, in the middle of the city’s 100th anniversary. Lot of interesting moments here including Mayor Oscar Goodman conversation with the Mayor from Miami. Gotta hand it to the guy, he loved his job)
11) Ooh Las Vegas/Emmylou Harris
12) Luck Be A Lady/Tea Time (excerpt)/Frank Sinatra w/ Count Basie
(Sinatra! This song might not be directly connected to the Vegas name, but you have to cut this song and the man 
some slack. The only copy of have of Frank singing this song is from the Sands engagement with Count Basie. I slid in some ‘Tea Time’ where Frank talks about the town and some Rat Pack ribbing on the side
)
13) Dean Martin/MGM Grand
14) F#%*ing Las Vegas/unknown
15) Wedding Vows In Vegas/Was (Not Was)
(Frank Sinatra Jr. sings the fate of Vegas marriages)
16) Hookers For Liberace/RIAA
(RIAA/Mr. Fab is a fellow old Vegas fan himself and made an album as a tribute to the town and era with ‘Sounds Of The Swing-Set’. Since Dean and Frank have already been covered here, I’m including this track about the rhumba swag of Mr. L)
17) Opening from the 2013 Kitsch Niche Las Vegas Lounge Special/Louie LaVega/Ron Rogers
(as mentioned before, Strike’s Kitsch Niche internet radio show pays a yearly tribute of the lounge Vegas-style and, in this 2013 edition, his Louie La Vega shoehorns his Vegas lyrics into ‘New York, New York’ followed by really bad jokes. It might not be pretty, but this is Vegas and Vega doesn’t care. Sit back with a good stiff one and let it ride!)
18) Pajama Tops/Union Plaza Hotel & Casino
(Union Plaza use to have productions of Broadway shows like Cabaret and Sugar. By the early 80’s, it was basically celebrity plays of unknown origin staring Bob Denver and, in this spot, pin-up model June Wilkinson with afternoon shows by Mickey Finn)
19) Queen of Las Vegas/The B-52’s
20) Vegas Says Goodbye To The Stardust/Charles Phoenix/NPR
(this is the NPR report filed by mid-century maniac tour guide Charles Phoenix on the sad occasion of the demise of the great Stardust Hotel & Casino….and adding insult to injury, that $4 billion replacement never happened)
21) Viva Las Vegas/Eläkeläiset-Humppaleka
(I end this volume on an up note; a Oktoberfest arrangement of ‘Viva’…..I think)

NOTE: just before the creation of this volume, I had discovered some more of those Vegas 
commercials in my tape collection, only instead of originally recording them over the airwaves of 
KDWN-AM, I had held my beaten up Sears boom box to the TV set during local broadcasts of UNLV 
Running Rebel basketball on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles just waiting for these spots. These televised 
games were hosted by the legendary sportscaster Chick Hearn. These weekly broadcasts were more 
of a Las Vegas commercial than a sports show.

1) Las Vegas: The Star Of The USA/Las Vegas Visitor & Convention Authority
(This audio track was from a promotional film they would play during half time of the Running Rebels games, followed by Chick Hearn interviewing someone from the ‘Authority’ or a major hotel/casino)

2) I Haven’t Got A Vegas Idea/Martin Mull
(This is a track from Martin Mull’s 1978 album, ‘Sex & Violins’; a very lush album complete with a full orchestra 
conducted by Frank DeVol from Fernwood/America 2-Night (he played ‘Happy Kyne’ of the ‘Mirth Makers’). Wish 
someone could remaster this album so you can hear the lushly lushness of Mull’s comedy
)
3) Straight To The Top (Vegas)/Tom Waits
(from Tom Waits’ first “opera”, Frank’s Wild Years. This is the ‘Vegas’ version of this song. You can witness this 
performance in his concert movie, ‘Big Time’. Pure campy and creepy Vegas that only Waits can deliver!
)
4) Ooh Las Vegas/Gram Parsons
5) Keely Smith: A Swingin’ Icon Of Early Vegas/Keely Smith/NPR
6) Las Vegas Tits & Ass/Lenny Bruce
7) Pin-ups 2001/Sahara Hotel & Casino
(I do remember the visuals from this clip and, yes, the show was as 70’s-ish sci-fi sexploitation (outside of Flesh 
Gordon dept.) as you imagine
)
8) Viva Las Vegas/Bruce Springsteen
9) Larry Las Vegas (live on KGIL-AM)/Sweet Dick Whittington
(this clip is an intersection of two favorite old radio taping obsessions, Las Vegas and radio personality Sweet 
Dick Whittington. Dated summer of 1978, Sweet Dick had a weekly Vegas segment during his daily morning 
radio show. The voice of Larry belongs to show producer Barry Koff. Please excuse the seriously out-dated pop 
culture references and jokes here
)

10) The Las Vegas Story/Gus Giuffre & Stan Skiba
(this single was released in 1960 and, from what I can tell, was a it was given as a gift by The Mint, though I’m sure it could have been found in gift shops city wide. Side one is a travelogue of the city’s history that, judging from the music (entitled ‘Golden Nevada’) in the background, it was recorded in a roller rink. Giuffre is your narrator and Skiba is the organist well as and writer)
11) Las Vegas/The Magnetics
(this is the b-side of the ‘The Las Vegas Story’ side and, admittedly, this is where the action is with this record. 
According to its liner notes: “For best effects, The Las Vegas side should be played with loud volume to capture all of the background sounds so typical of Las Vegas.” Thanks goodness they didn’t say this about side a
)
12) Maxim Hotel & Casino
(How’s this more obscure Vegas information: this spot and music only aired once and was replaced with the ‘Talk Of The Town’ campaign for the rest of Maxim’s run)
13) Incident at Las Varoces (from The Stan Freberg Show)/Stan Freberg
(Master satirist Stan Freberg had brief run as a radio show host for the CBS radio network in 1957. This sketch was from his first episode, but unlike his usual material, it ends rather dramatically. Guess he wasn’t so much of a Vegas man)
14) Folies Bergere To Close In Las Vegas/Shereen Meraji/NPR
15) Showboat Hotel & Casino
(I kinda like the background music here)
16) Viva Las Vegas/Dread Zeppelin

1) Las Vegas - Sodom & Gomorrah West/Godfrey Cambridge
2) Vegas Polka/Frankie Yankovic
(the OTHER Vegas polka)
3) Heaven Or Las Vegas/Cocteau Twins
4) Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas/Brandon Flowers
5) Vegas/Clubstrophobia
6) Your Love Is Like Las Vegas/The Thrills
7) Don’t Make Me Come To Vegas/Tori Amos
8) Showboat Hotel & Casino
9) Viva Las Vegas/Johnny Ramone
10) 40 Miles To Vegas/Southern Culture On The Skids
11) Las Vegas Scene/Wes Dakus
12) Stopping In Las Vegas/Chubby Checkers w/ZZ & De Maskers

13) Shoot (excerpt)/George Carlin
(this is a brief excerpt from Carlin’s classic ‘FM & AM’ album about a certain word that got him fired from the Frontier Hotel)

14) Pearl Bailey & Jack Benny/Tropicana Hotel & Casino
15) Las Vegas pt. 2/Pearl Bailey/Lenny Bruce
(in spite of his Vegas termination, George Carlin was lucky compared to the disastrous relationship between Sin 
City and Lenny Bruce. In this rare clip, Lenny talks of his very brief time on the Vegas stage before he got stomped and kick outta town, thanks to a fire extinguisher and Pearl Bailey. This is from the brilliant box set, Let The Buyer Beware!
)
16) Luck Be A Lady/Frank Sinatra
(yup, I am being sarcastic by putting Sinatra after Lenny, but this town is always been rough around the edges for certain personalities. Anyways, this is the better known album version of the same song I have from volume 2…and the same one they play for the Bellagio Fountains)
17) Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)/Hall & Oates
(Vegas & stewardess….how swinging 70’s can you get outside of a disco at the Playboy Mansion!!)
18) Horseshoe Hotel & Casino
19) Las Vegas/Bert Kaempfert
20) Las Vegas/Patula Clark
21) Big In Vegas/Buck Owens
22) Las Vegas With The Lights Out/Garry Tah
23) Las Vegas Tango/Gil Evans
24) Castaways Hotel & Casino

This volume crept up from behind my back and it was 
completed before I knew it, thanks to the contributions by fellow Old Vegas fanboy, the Fabulous Mr. Fab (*), the 
man behind the late great blog Music For Maniacs! and  the current Sheena's Jungle Room on WFMU.org!! Mondo thanks, Sir Fab!! BTW, the cover is from Stave Martin’s last stand-up album, The Steve Martin Brothers. Thanks for putting up with us fans and this town, Steve. After reading your autobiography, I’m glad to know that you didn’t end up burning the Riviera down.

1) Gold Key Motel
2) Larry In Las Vegas*/Wild Man Fischer
(Wild Man Fischer and Las Vegas. If only Tiny Tim used Larry for his opening act in one of his Vegas engagements! Look out, Elvis!!!!)

3) I’m Tired Of Singing My Song In Las Vegas/The Everly Brothers
4) Viva Las Vegas*/Elvis Impersonator Mark W. Curran
5) Las Vegas*/Ken Curtis (Festus)
6) Las Vegas/Tony Christie
7) Las Vegas/Damita Jo
8) Las Vegas Blues*/Bell Sisters
9) Las Vegas Jubilee/Girls Delight*/Bob Vido
10) Las Vegas Tango/Gary Burton
(The second version of Gil Evans piece, second only to Viva Las Vegas. A new Vegas standard, perhaps?)
11) Las Vegas: The Greatest Town Around (live on Late Night w/David Letterman)/The Saka Brothers
(This was one of the acts to perform on NBC’s Late Night when David Letterman visited Las Vegas in 1987. I didn’t even know I had this as it was buried inside my Vegas DVD set. Paul must have had some fun!)
12) Larry Las Vegas Live!/Sweet Dick Whittington & Barry Knoff
(You might remember Larry Las Vegas (Barry Knoff) from a previous volume. Well, this time Larry personally visits the studios of KGIL-AM in Northridge, CA with Sweet Dick Whittington introducing him. As with the last piece, we apologize for the criminally out-dated “humor”)
13) Lucky Vegas Gamblin’ Man*/Rodd Keith
14) Allen & Rossi/Maxim Hotel & Casino
15) Marc Maron In Las Vegas Pt.1/Mark Maron
(Maron is popular thanks to his ‘WTF!” podcasts and, in this excerpt from an early show, he visits Las Vegas and 
begins to belly ache about the town with a side order of f-bombs.
)
16) Viva Las Vegas*/Nina Hagen
17) Penn’s Las Vegas Taxi Story/Penn Jillette
(a small extract from Penn Jillette’s podcast Penn’s Sunday School. He has an interesting Dean Martin story in 
the old Nerdcast show, but it’s quite long, so I’m going with this one
)
18) Plan 9 From Las Vegas*/Dept. Of Crooks
(a fine contribution from Mr. Fab that’s currently working under my skull….damnit!)
19) Vegas*/Nico
20) Vegas/Woody Allen
21) What Is Vegas?*/Dancemission & JPL
22) Marc Maron In Las Vegas Pt. 2/Mark Maron
(we catch up with Maron and he’s still gripping about Vegas….only he pays a visit to the old Liberace Museum and, by the end of this piece, his spirit is lifted and is saved by the sleeve of Liberace’s robe.)
23) Anthony Newley & Juliet Prowse/Desert Inn
24) Finale/Before The Music Ends*/Frank Sinatra

The following are the liner notes of this latest (and possibly final) volume of my Las Vegas mix tape series. The cover for this set is Wendy The Showgirl as  she is seen strutting her stuff in front of 'Jubilee'!

Special thanks for this set goes to Classic Las Vegas who sent me a vinyl copy of the 'Sight & Sounds Of Las Vegas' single. Speaking of which...

1) Sights & Sounds of Las Vegas side 1/Tourist Records
2) Lido’s 25th Anniversary/Stardust
3) Sights & Sounds of Las Vegas side 2/Tourist  Records

(This was the second record I bellyached that I couldn’t find on this very site and, like the first (‘The Las Vegas 
Story’), it is a tourist record. This one more ‘energy’ than the ‘Story’ 45 which employed some actors 
serving as a couple reacting to the ’sights’ (as in the hotels) around them with a narrator guide them and 
you the listener along the way. All except the Lido de Paris radio spot as this was from the airwaves of 
KDWN-AM in the early 80's celebrating the show's 25 anniversary
)

4) Desert Inn/Nevada Public Radio
(This track, Las Vegas Extravaganza, The D. I. & The Mob and Entertainers are a part of a 2005 radio series called ‘The Las Vegas I Remember’ that was broadcast on the Vegas NPR station, KNPR-FM. It is a series of 10 to 15 minute audio documentaries on the town’s history; there are stories on the 1980 MGM Grand fire, women’s contribution to the town, the civil rights struggle, showgirls, etc. The selections I used here are more closely related to the casino industry. The series is still on line, so check them out!)
5) Lights of Las Vegas/Rod Rogers & the Travis Jay Jones Orchestra
(If you’re not familiar with the Song-Poem genre, it’s basically people paying musicians to set their poems to music and slap them in a vanity record label. It’s a small industry you could find in small ads in the back of magazines. See the documentary ‘Off The Charts’ for further details.What make this track notable is that it was taken from an album filled with Vegas related ‘song-poem’ songs, ‘Las Vegas Souvenir’. Even more astonishing is that it has just been released on CD 
on the Essential Media Group label.
)
6) Godzilla Eats Las Vegas/UNLV Orchestra
7) Hotel Nevada
8) Las Vegas Love Song/The Barnyard Cupcakes
9) Las Vegas-Jennifer Halloway/‘How’s Your News?’ Gang
(Even I don’t even know how I dumped into this track. The ‘How’s Your News?’ gang were a modly crew of the ‘mentally challenged’ reporters that traveled around the country in a RV asking various by-standards “How’s your news?” There’s a documentary on them and their activities and they were favorite guests on the Howard Stern Show.)
10) Las Vegas Extravaganzas/Nevada Public Radio
11) Sahara’s Summer Spectacular/Sahara Hotel & Casino (w/Don Rickles)
(I’m including these two radio spots as they are different versions of the same commercial, edited for seasonal adjustment. Also, there’s Don Rickles intimidating ‘you pain suckers’ to visit.)
12) Entertainers/Nevada Public Radio
13) Sahara’s Winter Spectacular/Sahara Hotel & Casino (w/Don Rickles)
(see above liner note)
14) I Left My Wife In Las Vegas/The Doel Brothers
15) Las Vegas/Haven Records
16) Vegas Dollar/Rod Rogers & the Travis Jay Jones Orchestra
17) Fiesta Showroom/Hotel Frontier
18) The Mob, The D. I. and other stories/Nevada Public Radio
19) Four Queens
(The Four Queens Hotel & Casino had, for a long time, a New Orleans theme and it mentions ‘Louis Prima’s Witnesses’, who was actually Sam Butera’s band as Prima left for the great Mardi Gras parade in the sky in 1976.)
20) When The Saints Go Marching In-Closing/Louis Prima & Keely Smith
(Grant you, this is an unusual choice for this whole set as the song is usually associated with the City Of New Orleans, but there is a connection between these two cities at work. First off, New Orleans and Las Vegas are American cities that have made their reputation directly based on human pleasure and desire, have little care of the outside world and both worship money and air conditioning, though N. O. has a MUCH longer and deeper history as compared to Vegas’ young age and lack of tolerance for its own history and traditions.Then there’s the New Orleans-born Louie Prima who has both feet firmly planted in both cities.)
21) KDWN I.D. acapella

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