From December 4th-Feb. 14th, 2015, the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas News Bureau and the City of Las Vegas are presenting an exhibit at the Charleston Heights Art Center Gallery called The Midcentury Las Vegas Stage: Acts that Built the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Be sure to check it out for some rare, candid photos of this bygone era.
Don't forget our Special Sale on The Story of Classic Las Vegas is still going on! Details can be found here:
Special DVD Sale
"Shecky Greene was almost single-handedly responsible for keeping the hotel (the Riviera) in business." recalled Riviera publicist Tony Zoppi. "He consistently brought the high rollers to his show and to the hotel."
Shecky Greene is one of kind.
He was on the opening bill with Elvis Presley, when the young singer opened for the Freddie Martin Orchestra at the Frontier Hotel in 1956.
He rotated as part of the "Party That Never Stopped" at the Casbar Room at the Sahara Hotel where the line-up included Don Rickles and Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Sam Butera and the Witnesses. It was the hottest room in town in those days.
He came onstage one night at the Casbar dressed only in a robe, laid down on the stage and did his act from there. Buddy Hackett, sitting in the audience, was so taken aback, he stripped down to his boxers and joined Greene on stage.
Greene's antics are legendary in the annuals of Classic Las Vegas Strip history. One night he was performing in the lounge at the Riviera where he did not get along with owner Ed Torres.
The animosity between the two was so intense that Greene told staffers to keep Torres out of the lounge when he was on stage. Greene got the news just before he went onstage that they were relocating the lounge and turning the current lounge into a Keno Parlor. Greene took the stage with a pick-axe in hand and spent his show chopping the stage into souvenirs and passing them out to the audience. The next day Ed Torres, unaware of what Greene had done the night before, called to say that they were putting the construction plans on hold.
Greene's exploits at the hotel are legendary. He was fired numerous times but the Riviera could not afford for him to stay fired. As often as they would fire him, they would hire him back.
Greene was one of the biggest draws in town. His unpredictability along with his stream of consciousness kept the audience on their toes. They never knew what mood he would be in or what routines he would have in his act. His improvisational style had many thinking he just made up as he went along. The Riv was paying him $20,000 a week with a 26 week guarantee. He was the late-night anchor in the lounge and it was usually standing room only every night. Read More