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by Justin Farrar

August 8, 2014

Classic Vegas Schmaltz

by Justin Farrar  |  August 8, 2014

The newly released legacy edition of Elvis Presley's That's the Way It Is, the soundtrack to the King's 1970 concert film, is a wonderfully over-the-top artifact from old Las Vegas. Of course, entertainment in the 21st-century Sin City still is over the top. Instead of Presley's gaudy jumpsuits, nowadays the city's myriad lounges, clubs, concert halls and theaters boast the equally gaudy Skrillex, Tiësto and the EDM revolution. But for those of us whose youth has long since receded into our rearview mirrors, when we think of entertainment in Las Vegas we will always think of Elvis and Ol' Blue Eyes, Dino and Sammy, Liberace and, of course, the great Wayne Newton. And let's not forget Charo and Phyllis Diller, two of the leading ladies of old-school Vegas.

From velvety lounge tunes to a truly excessive reliance on sequined outfits, we're talking the classic show-biz schmaltz that dominated the city from the 1950s up through the '90s. This is the era my playlist lovingly chronicles. In addition to timeless hits from the previously mentioned performers (including no-brainer "Viva Las Vegas"), you're treated to songs from iconic Vegas acts Sonny & Cher, Bobby Darin, Liza Minnelli, Jimmy Durante and the sexiest singer not named Elvis Presley: the one and only Tom Jones. If our playlist doesn't inspire you to purchase your own gaudy jumpsuit, we don't know what will!

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