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Friends turn out for Bobby Darin

The spirit of Bobby Darin filled his former showroom at the Flamingo Monday.

Five’ll get ya ten old Macky was back in town.

About 200 invitees gathered to celebrate Darin’s Las Vegas Walk of Stars enshrinement Monday and revel in his music and memories. Attendees got a bonus: two little-known Darin recordings discovered in the archives about two years ago were part of a video.

The former Las Vegas headliner, who topped the charts with "Mack the Knife" for nine weeks in 1959, sang the two songs, "Weeping Willow" and "Manhattan in my Heart."

Darin’s half-brother Gary Walden accepted a replica of the star that’s been encased in the sidewalk in front of the Flamingo Las Vegas.

Tony Sacca and Darin stylist Robert Ensler each sang a song, and a number of guests, including Darin’s buddy Wayne Newton, shared stories. Darin, who had been given the exclusive rights to "Danke Schoen," gave the song to Newton, who turned it into a hit that launched his career.

In the audience, carrying a scrapbook from yesteryear, was restaurateur George LaForge, who was the maitre ‘d at the Desert Inn’s toney Monte Carlo room when he befriended Darin. LaForge opened the Pamplemousse restaurant on East Sahara in Darin’s honor in 1976, three years after Darin’s death at age 37.

Darin had recommended they open a restaurant and name it Pamplemousse "because it’s the most beautiful word in French," recalled LaForge.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Save some extra applause for Las Vegas hypnotists Marc Savard and Michael Johns. Savard will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds from his 10:30 p.m. show "Mesmerized" (V Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort) tonight to the victims’ families of the Tenaya Road crash that killed five people. Savard nearly died after being hit by a drunken driver 11 years ago. Johns, who appears in "Hypnosis Gone Wild" at The Empire Ballroom, flew back to his home state of Iowa the other day for airfare only and performed gratis after hearing that the scheduled hypnotist had cancelled out of a prom in Carroll, Iowa.

SIGHTINGS

Simon Cowell, hanging out back at the "America’s Got Talent" tapings Monday with fellow Brits Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgans, judges on "America’s Got Talent," and Robert Earl, co-chairman of Planet Hollywood Resort. They were chowing down on Kobe beef sliders at Planet Dailies coffee shop at Planet Hollywood. Cowell owns "America’s Got Talent." … Country music star Gretchen Wilson, performing Heart’s hit "Barracuda" with Ann and Nancy Wilson on Sunday at the Academy of Country Music concert at the Fremont Street Experience. Also at the show, John Rich of country group Big & Rich. … At Body English (Hard Rock Hotel) on Sunday: Toby Keith, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson and Kevin Federline. … Phil Ivey, five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, making the commute to Primm Valley Golf Course on Monday for the World Series of Golf event via private helicopter from his Summerlin home. A TV event, the three-day tournament involves the wagering format of Texas hold ’em paired with golf. Many of poker’s top players are involved. It airs on NBC June 23-24. … Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmunds, attending a Sunday performance of "Mystere" (Treasure Island). … Rock band Queens of the Stone Age, partying at Ivan Kane‘s Forty Deuce two nights in a row over the weekend. … Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish, celebrating his birthday at Nico Santucci‘s Parisian Palace on Sunday. … The Scintas, having their last show filmed Saturday at the Sahara as part of a proposed comedy-reality show about them. During the night, they received community service awards from Cox Communications’ Steve Schorr and Guns & Hoses, the local organization made up of police and firefighters.

THE PUNCH LINE

"(Paris Hilton) sent a petition to Governor Schwarzenegger, asking him to pardon her. Isn’t that amazing? She knew who the governor was!" – Jay Leno

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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