Entries in frank sinatra (3)
"Liberace would fill a hotel, Sinatra would fill the town."
Don Payne, former Manager of the Las Vegas News Bureau.
For over thirty-five years, Frank Sinatra's name on a hotel marquee was a guarantee of sold-out shows. Just word that Sinatra was coming would spike airline reservations and hotel reservations. In the era before the Internet and Youtube, if you wanted to see Sinatra in concert, Las Vegas was the place to be.
Las Vegas was good to Sinatra at time when he needed good luck badly. In the early 1950s, when his voice was said to be shot and his love affair with Ava Gardner was on the rocks, Wilbur Clark hired the young singer when others wouldn't return his phone call. He played the Desert Inn and once quipped:
"Wilbur Clark gave me my first job in Las Vegas. That was 1951.
For six bucks you got a filet mignon dinner and me.".
Frank Sinatra, 1992
As his fortunes improved, he moved from the Desert Inn to the Sands Hotel where he would film "Ocean's 11" and the Rat Pack on-stage antics would help put the Las Vegas Strip on the map.
After a well-publicized brawl with Carl Cohen that resulted in broken windows and the loss of his two front teeth, Sinatra moved over to Caesars Palace where he continued to weave that old Sinatra magic.
It was major news when Steve Wynn managed to steal him away and bring him to Fremont Street to play the Golden Nugget.
There have been many entertainers who left their mark on the Las Vegas Strip but none who did it quite as stylish as the Chairman of the Board.
Happy Birthday, Frank!
Well, it seems it has been headed towards this for awhile. But, now it is official. The Liberace Museum has closed its doors citing "declining interest".
Jeffrey Koep, the chairman of the Liberace Foundation, cites the declining interest in Liberace himself as part of the problem.
He also cites the fact that as Liberace's fans have gotten grayer and older, new fans have not necessarily taken their place.
Unlike Elvis and the Rat Pack, both of whom were Las Vegas legends at the same time Lee was wowing crowds in the 1950s and 1960s, Liberace is not necessarily remembered as well as the others in today's media saturated times.
Both Elvis and Sinatra have estates, controlled by family, that make them powerhouses to be reckoned with and keep their departed loved ones in the eye of the public. Liberace did not have that. Nor did he have recording legacy that is kept alive through the licensing of his music.
His legacy seems to be his flair of showmanship whose roots flow to Lady Gaga and other modern singers.
A biopic, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas has been talked about but with Douglas battling stage 4 cancer, it's future is uncertain.
The museum opened in 1979 with 5,000 square feet and by 1988 had grown to 11,000. In its heyday, the Museum was a big hit and the most visited museum in town.
The Foundation says that profits have been declining for 12 years and cites its off-Strip locale as part of the problem.
They hope to continue with traveling exhibits but for now it's "Goodnight, Irene" for the Liberace Museum.
We are sorry to see it go.