Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton in Person!

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Herein is the reason why Wayne Newton is such a popular entertainer. Wayne Newton in Person is a fun, energetic, old-time romp through classic songs, in which Newton hams it up and generally puts on a tremendous show. He gets serious at times ("What Kind of Fool Am I," "I Wish You Love"), but most of his performance is a hoot, combining his assured vocals and over the top lounge lizard mannerisms with frantically strummed banjos, big-band pizzazz, and fabulous background vocal arrangements (particularly on "Bill Bailey," which is genuinely exciting). It isn't weird enough to alienate the old-timers, but has enough daring and smirky moments to disarm the most skeptical hipsters. The album followed hot on the heels of "Danke Schöen" and its accompanying long-player, and includes a live version of that hit. Unaccountably, Wayne Newton in Person was not a big seller, which is unfortunate since it contains the most entertaining recordings he made in his big-band style. The album was later reissued by the Pickwick budget label with the title Live Hollywood Concert.

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