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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


Cult Vegas
Mike Weatherford

If you want to really experience the soul and spirit of classic Vegas, you can either mix a martini, throw on a Dean Martin LP, or pick up a copy of Cult Vegas (Huntington Press) by Mike Weatherford. The book is a celebratory swing through the glitzy glory years of the city that personifies Lounge in the popular imagination. (At least it used to, before the clueless corporate coin-counters ordered the demolition of all the classic hipster hangouts, like The Sands and The Dunes, forever banishing The Mecca of Cool to the intangible imagination of The Cocktail Nation.)

Cult Vegas spotlights a stunning assortment of sizzling, often sleazy, always absorbing true-life stories, complete with snazzy snapshots of marquee mainstays, like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Louis Prima, Keely Smith, Shecky Green, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tom Jones, Johnny Carson, Ann-Margaret, Wayne Newton, and many more. Readers also get the skinny on the down-and-dirty, dusk-till-dawn lounge lizards and burlesque B-girls, including The Treniers, Lili St. Cyr, Mamie Van Doren, Tura Satana, Regina Carrol, Don Rickles, Joe E. Lewis, Redd Foxx, and even Bela Lugosi! And forget Siegfried and Roy—the magical match-up of Liberace and Vampira has got to be the weirdest combo in the town's hyped-up history. Interviews with many of the actual participants in this perpetual party are like tonic for gin: they make it all go down that much smoother, and you still get a beautiful buzz.

Weatherford's mad mob of memories economically encompasses all aspects of the classic Vegas cult, which ironically has grown more passionate and pervasive in the wake of its own untimely suicide. The book is like a literary drive-in: just sit back, relax, and vicariously enjoy the racy reveries unfolding like elaborate stripteases before your enchanted eyes. This would be the perfect bedside companion while in Vegas to witness the impending implosion of The Desert Inn.

-Will "The Thrill" Viharo

Year 1999 Reviews
Year 2000 Reviews
Year 2001 Reviews
Year 2002 Reviews
Year 2003 Reviews
Dave Berger and The Sultans of Swing—Doin' The Do!
Blue Lunch—Not Live at the Copa
Blues Jumpers—Royal Motel
Johnny Boyd—The Last Word In
Buddy Blue—Pretend It's Okay
BR549—This is BR549
Dennis Caiazza and Swing Factory—
Liz Callaway—The Beat Goes On
Matt Catingub's Big Kahuna and The Copa Cat Pack—Shake Those Hula Hips!
Cocktail Angst—Big Top Parade
Gerard Carelli—Lucky To Be Me
Rebecca Kyler Downs—
Love Me Like Candy
Gas Money—Hopeless Love Affair
The Good Fellas—Salute!
Charlie Gracie—I'm All Right
Wayne Hancock—A-Town Blues
Skip Heller—Jazz From Hell(er)
Jools Holland—The Swing Album
The Jaztronauts—Swank
Jump 4 Joy—Cutest Lil' Boogie
KGB Swing—Proletarian Swing
Laika And The Cosmonauts—
Laika Sex Machine
Linda & The Big King Jive Daddies—
Linda & The Big King Jive Daddies
Jimmy Luxury—My True Love Is...
Maci Miller—A Very Good Night
Swing Nouveau—Shakin' When Stirred
Alex Pangman—They Say...
The Prairie Cats—'Til the Daytime Fades
Lee Press-On & The Nails—Playing Dirty
Dexter Romweber—Chased By Martins
Frank Sinatra—Sinatra Love Songs
The Stingrays surf Band—
Don't Fear the Reverb
Stardust Records Presents—
Vocal and Jazz Ecstacy
Ron Sunshine & Full Swing—Candy
The Swing-O-Matics—
The Swing-O-Matics
The Swingtips—Roswell
Joe Turley—When The Jitterbug Bites
Mitch Woods—Jump For Joy
Yalloppin' Hounds—New Yalloppin' City

Retro Reading Reviews
The Aloha Shirt
Cine Mexicano, California Crazy & Beyond, Poker
Cult Vegas
Dark City Dames
Entering Germany 1944-1949
The House That Jack Built: My Life As a Trailblazer in Broadcasting and Entertainment
Leni Riefenstahl: Five Lives
Making The Wiseguys Weep:
The Jimmy Roselli Story
Truer Than True Romance
My Father's Daughter—Tina Sinatra
Tell It To The Future


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