Bobby Darin and Wayne Newton

Wayne & Bobby

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The friendship of Bobby and Wayne Newton is widely known. Bobby discovered Wayne and got him his start in the recording business. Wayne wrote in his autobiography, Once Before I Go that "Bobby was absolutely like the older brother I had always wanted." He also said of Bobby that he "represented to me the epitome of what I considered a recording artist to be...he was the most consummate talent I had ever known."

Below are the liner notes that appeared on the back of one of Wayne's first albums, Wayne Newton in Person, that were written by Bobby.

Wayne Newton is Big Time. That's what critics said about his opening night at Hollywood's Entertainment testing ground, the Crescendo. They gave him unqualified raves. Here in this album is Wayne Newton "Live" at the Crescendo just nine nights after that smash opening performance.

Wayne is the young man from Phoenix, Arizona, whose standout talents caused Jackie Gleason to say: "For the love of Mike, don't go on any other show before you go on mine." Jackie signed him up for television and got him a contract for personal appearances at New York's Copacabana, and as soon as I heard Wayne, I signed him for recordings.

The reasons for our excitement are all in this album, beginning with the first note of Wayne's very first song.

He opens with "Swanee." He doesn't sound like Jolson, and he doesn't sound like Garland. He does sound like Wayne Newton and he makes a song his with the same kind of class that made those singers great.

Wayne has the power and sensitivity and a style that is his alone. An entertainer since he was 13, he also has an instinctive feeling for show business: The line-up of songs he sings here may well be the greatest group of audience pleasers ever assembled for a single performance. After the rousing "Swanee" comes a beautiful "I Wish You Love", a rich "What Kind of Fool Am I?", a swinging "Mack the Knife," a rollicking "Who Can I Count On?" and Wayne is just warming up. But these are surefire only if believed. And, because Wayne believes them, his audiences do, too.

He also sings his famous "Danke Schoen," the song that put him on the map and brought club owners bidding for appearances. Nowadays managers are usually careful to sign the young "flash-in-the-pan" performer for a one-shot date, since popularity can be gone by the next week. In Wayne's case, however, any who did were right back waving long-term contracts, because all Wayne's performances have been smash successes just like his Hollywood stay.

Wayne Newton at the Crescendo gave his audiences a show that was pure showmanship--the bright, happy performances of a talented young man who has been making quite a name for himself. You'll hear how he did it in this recording. And you're going to be hearing a lot about Wayne Newton from now on. He's going to be one of the top singers of our time.


Cover of the LP

Photo of Wayne and Bobby courtesy of Mary Spooner
Mary Spooner's loving tribute to Wayne Newton

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