Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Years" by Wayne Newton

Song#:  0035
Date:  02/02/1980
Debut:  84
Peak:  35
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Pop, Easy Listening

Pop Bits:  Known as "Mr. Las Vegas," Newton was really known more for being a celebrity and entertainer than a recording artist. His chart history backs this up as he had only one Top 10 hit (1972's "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast") and only one other to reach the Top 20, his signature tune "Danke Schoen." At the peak of his career, he was the highest paid nightclub performer anywhere and remained as a Vegas fixture for over 40 years. Still living in Vegas, he has been working on plans to make his estate there into an attraction a-la Elvis Presley's Graceland.

ReduxReview:  I'm not a fan of Mr. Newton. I just don't see the attraction. But if I'm being honest, this is a pretty good song. It was written by the quality songwriting team of Kye Flemming and Dennis Morgan, who wrote several big hits including Ronnie Milsap's "Smokey Mountain Rain." This song was first a #1 country song for Barbara Mandrell in 1979. With this being Newton's last chart entry, he goes out in a classy style and his weathered voice fits it quite well.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  In 1993, Newton was persuaded to open his Wayne Newton Theater in the music/tourist town of Branson, MO (my former residence for 8 years). Branson, known for its senior tourists, clean shows, and Christian values, did not adapt to Newton's Vegas-style show very well. The proceeds from his opening night were to be donated to the local College of the Ozarks - a Christian college. But after Newton's opening show, which included some suggestive language, the college rejected the potential $15-20k donation citing moral reasons. (Note: I was in the audience that night and while it was a very PG show, after living in Branson for a while I knew that some of the content was going to get called out.) This began a rocky road in Branson for Newton who left after one year. He returned to perform at his friend Tony Orlando's theater later in 1996. Then the two moved back to Newton's theatre, named it "Talk of the T.O.W.N." - the last part is each performers initials. But that ended badly as Newton locked Orlando out of the theater in a dispute and a lawsuit followed. When it comes down to it, Vegas and Branson do not mix - as Newton learned.



  1. The song is not too shabby. But again, it sounds fairly anachronistic (I'm going to keep using that word). Unfortunately, as you know, I looked at the current Wayne Newton face. Aaaiiieee!!! - M

  2. Chart Run: 84 - 74 - 64 - 58 - 52 - 46 - 41 - 40 - 36 - 35 - 50 - 81 - 94