Got a backload of posts to make (including POW for last week) so let's get started...
Made a top 10 list of songs to get you in the mood for Vegas to put on your iPod. Gave this one to Al for FTP, but not sure he wants this one. Here it is at Poker Nation if it is of any use to you:
Vegas playlist for your iPod
By "Tuscaloosa" Johnny Kampis
The World Series of Poker is only days away. You’re beginning to pack your bags (don’t forget the sunscreen) and have printed your boarding passes at home. Before you hop on that plane remember to load up your iPod with all of your favorite tunes. In fact, to get you in the mood for your stay in the glitz and glamour of Sin City I’ve compiled my top ten list of Vegas themed tunes you may want to add to your playlist. Some of these have become unofficial Vegas anthems more due to the singer (Elvis, Sinatra, et al.) or the big band aspect than the subject matter, but all should get you pumped for the trip at 40,000 feet.
10. Big Spender – Peggy Lee
Lee recorded this song in 1966, after it had already become a hit on the musical “Sweet Charity.” Imagine yourself walking through the Rio with your fat bankroll and women dripping off your arm as you listen to this one. Another interesting tidbit about this tune is that it was the song the character Ellen Griswold dances to naked in the bathroom in “European Vacation” that later causes her grief when the videotape recorded by her husband, Clark Griswold, is accidentally lost and later shown to audiences in Europe.
9. Burning Love – Elvis Presley
Released in 1972, in the thick of the fat Elvis Vegas years, this was one of the few rock songs in the later part of his career and his last Top 40 hit. Receiving much play in the Las Vegas Hilton showroom during his performances there, “Burning Love” is another Sin City regular.
8. I Get a Kick Out of You – Frank Sinatra
An example of a song on the list that is more about the man than the message. The song itself does not have any Vegas or gambling references, but Ol’ Blue Eyes was a staple on the Strip for years as part of the Rat Pack. You could fill this slot with many Sinatra songs, and I listed a couple of them in the honorable mention selections below.
7. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
Appealing to the romantic side, this one is a staple of many a romantic movie set in Vegas. I think of all the little wedding chapels between the Strip and Downtown when I hear this one, not to mention that I fell in love with my own future wife long distance while here in the summer of 2006.
6. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley
It seems since the television show “Las Vegas” used this as its intro music that this song often pops up in Vegas themed productions. In a town that’s all about action this song fits. Elvis could be saying just shut up and roll the dice.
5. A Game of Poker – Nelson Riddle
Riddle worked extensively with the Rat Pack over the years, including conducting the scores of their motion pictures “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Robin and the 7 Hoods”. He wrote arrangements for numerous Sinatra songs, as well. Listen to this full orchestral arrangement tune and imagine sitting at the poker table in the 60s with Sammy Davis Jr. on your right and Joey Bishop on your left.
4. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Finally, we have a song that actually mentions Vegas – in the title! Written and performed for the 1964 film of the same name, this catchy song says “the bright lights are going to set my soul on fire. Gotta whole lotta money that’s ready to burn so get those stakes up higher.”
3. Danke Schoen – Wayne Newton
No Vegas list would be complete without Wayne Newton, and this is his most famous work. Meaning “thank you” in German, “Danke Schoen” is a staple of Mr. Vegas. Listen to it and imagine how many times he has sung this one in the various Vegas showrooms over the last several decades since he first recorded it in 1963.
2. Ain’t That a Kick in the Head – Dean Martin
You almost never watch a movie set in Vegas without hearing this one, from another Rat Pack member. Again, it doesn’t reference Vegas yet it has become another unofficial Vegas anthem. Martin sang it in the original “Ocean’s Eleven” and Nelson Riddle (see number five) conducted the background orchestra.
1. Luck Be a Lady – Frank Sinatra
A great gambler’s lament. Sinatra sings about how both luck at the tables and luck with the ladies is a fickle thing. How true it is. Backed up by a full orchestra, this song is the quintessential Vegas song. Sammy Davis Jr. also recorded a faster version, but this one is best.
Honorable Mention – Wear My Ring Around Your Neck and Good Luck Charm by Elvis, The Lady is a Tramp and I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Sinatra, Who’s Got the Action by Dean Martin and I’m Shooting High by Nat King Cole.