The Las Vegas Based Recording Artist, Whose Critically Acclaimed Debut
Album ‘This Time Around’ Includes A New Arrangement Of Newton’s
Trademark Hit, First Encountered Him As A Young Girl When Her Father Played
In His Band
Las Vegas based recording artist Sandy Kastel (www.sandykastel.com) experienced a real blast from the past recently as she hung out backstage at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino with “Mr. Las Vegas” himself, Wayne Newton.
Growing up, Kastel—a former Miss Nevada—watched the legendary entertainer in rehearsals while accompanying her father, an acclaimed saxophonist who for years backed many of the city’s greatest performers, including Newton.
When Kastel told her father that her friend, writer and publicist Bobbie Katz, was taking her to see the singer’s show, he began telling stories of performing with Newton at The Frontier and The International (now the Las Vegas Hilton), as well as Harrah’s Reno and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Mr. Kastel also recorded on a Newton Christmas album.
With the release of her critically acclaimed debut album This Time Around, the Vegas born and raised Kastel has become a true cultural ambassador for the city, bringing the magic of classic Las Vegas to the rest of the world for the very first time. Putting her own unique spins on songs that continue to transfix our imaginations decades after we first heard them, the singer pays homage to, among others, Frank Sinatra (a medley of “All Of Me,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Just One Of Those Things,” plus “Luck Be A Lady”), Peggy Lee (“Fever,” “Come Back To Me”), Johnny Mathis (“Misty”), Dinah Washington/Celine Dion (“When I Fall In Love”) and Judy Garland (“Over The Rainbow”).
Of course, the collection also features Newton’s trademark hit “Danke Schoen,” and Kastel was eager to tell the legendary entertainer that she honored him. “When Bobbie took me backstage to meet him after the show, he was gracious when I told him my story about watching him in rehearsals as a little girl. He remembered my dad and when he bought the musicians the T.V. for the band room. When I told him about my tribute album and that he was one of the people I was honoring along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bobby Darin, he laughed and said, ‘I’m in good company.’ Wayne was as I remembered him from my childhood, friendly, funny, a gentleman and a true performer. It was wonderful meeting him again as an adult and watching him perform as only he can. He is truly Mr. Las Vegas!”
Watching him regale yet another appreciative audience, Kastel fully understands the secret to his many years of success: “After almost 2 hours of performing non-stop, singing his hit songs including ‘Danke Schoen’ and closing with a high energy medley, Wayne said goodnight to his audience, promising to join his fans afterwards for a meet and greet where he took photos with every one of them. This is what he does for his fans. He knows they are important and always treats them special, showing them his appreciation by spending time with them after each show. In my opinion this is one of his characteristics that led to a long and successful career.”
For a full rundown on Kastel’s memorable evening seeing “Mr. Las
Vegas” in concert, please visit www.sandykastel.com.