The lounges and the musicians who play them have been key in making Las Vegas the Entertainment Capital of the World. From the Treniers and The Three Suns in the 1940's, to Louis Prima holding court and jamming all night at the Casbah Lounge at the Sahara in the 50's to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition at the Sands in the 70's to Big Elvis at the Barbary Coast in 2000, the lounges have provided a showcase for thousands of talented performers to entertain millions of visitors. These performers have been as important to Las Vegas entertainment as the headliners, and we honor them here.
We pay special tribute to Joe Vento who first performed in Las Vegas with The Three Suns at the El Rancho Vegas in the 1940's. At 97 in 2015, Joe is still performing in Las Vegas, most recently at the Royal Resort.
The Treniers, The Three Suns, Dondino, Copeland Davis and hundreds more have headlined Las Vegas lounges and are as important a part of Las Vegas entertainment history as those who have headlined the main rooms.
Lounge headliners need their back up band to put on a show. Those many musicians are recognized for their talent and contributions to Las Vegas entertainment.
Dondino - It only takes one name to describe this fabulous entertainer. While he has headlined around the world, we honor him for his years of entertaining in the lounges of Las Vegas. He came here in the 70's and has performed at virtually every hotel including an unprecedented 14 year run at the Four Queens. He also holds the Ripley's Believe It or Not record for being the most seen performer with one couple attending his show 2,700 times over the years. When not on stage, Dondino works with Children's reading programs.
Lounge Musician Inductees
Joey Ugarte - Joey has been the conga player for virtually every entertainer in Las Vegas since he came to town with the Copeland Davis Band in 1972. Some of the most notable players he has worked with are Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, The DeCastro Sister, Dondino, Joe Williams. and, well . . . everybody else!
The Copeland Davis Band - Copeland Davis and his band were "discovered" playing in Florida and were brought to Las Vegas by the notorious Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, Entertainment Director at the Stardust, in 1972. Copeland and his band played the lounge nightly for two years to standing room only. He is now back in Florida performing and working with children's music programs.
Lifetime Achievement - 2014
Robbie Robinson - This is a man who has truly done it all! Beginning as a teenager he became a member of The Platters before they were a successful group. He sang with a variety of Platters' line-ups over the years, performed with The Flares with their hit "Foot Stomping," and has traveled the world entertaining. A longtime Las Vegas resident, the 80-something multi-talented performer continues to play his sax in lounges around town, most recently Ichobads.
Huck Daniels has been a staple of the Las Vegas Lounges for more than 30 years. He was brought to town by Earl "Good Rockin" Brown, and has played to the delight of audiences at every major hotel with a long run at the Strasoaphere.
Earl "Good Rockin'" Brown brought jazz to the lounges of Las Vegas over 45 years ago. He and his sax have made the rounds of all the lounges and is still playing. Have Sax. will Travel.
Lifetime Achievement - 2015
Don Hill - Don has been a Las Vegas star since the 1940's when he came to Las Vegas to play the lounges with The Treniers. Don continued to play with the group until the death of the last Trenier cousin, but he didn't put his saxophone down. At 93 he is still jamming around town and is a member of Jazzin' Jeanne Brei's band which performs regularly at the Italian American Club, a popular venue of local Las Vegas entertainment.