No one was happier at George Strait‘s press conference Tuesday at the MGM Grand than Rondi Rowland.
She goes back to 1986, near the beginning of Strait’s Las Vegas performances.
“It was the first year of the National Finals Rodeo. He was at the Frontier, and Garth Brooks was across the street at the Desert Inn,” said Rowland, executive secretary for MGM Resorts International Vice President Alan Feldman.
One of Strait’s biggest fans, she was among the staffers working the press conference announcing Strait would be among the first headliners at the $375 million Las Vegas Arena being built behind New York-New York.
“I’ve never missed a show he’s had in Las Vegas,” she said by telephone.
She couldn’t be happier that the King of Country is returning in April for the first of two two-day concerts, April 22-23 and September 9-10.
“When I saw him at the Frontier,” Rowland said, “I was in the front row, sitting next to his wife. She was filing her fingernails. I’m thinking, ‘He’s onstage looking like that and you’re filing your fingernails?'”
Little takes on Trump
Donald Trump is the perfect candidate for a Rich Little impersonation.
There’s a lot to work with.
“The arms. The mouth,” said Little, who has been taping Trump to study his mannerisms.
In an aside during the interview, Little quipped, “Donald Trump should walk into the Oval Office and say, ‘You’re fired!'”
Little said he’ll preview his Trump impression Sunday as my guest on “Conversations with Norm” at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
The show starts at 2 p.m. After my hour of Q&A with Little, he will take questions from the audience through emcee Bryan Scofield, meteorologist for KTNV-TV, Channel 13.
Little, 76, is back onstage, doing his autobiographical one-man show at the Tropicana every night except Monday and Friday. Tickets: $48.50-$72.45. Call 702-739-2411.
The longtime Las Vegas resident, a native of Ottawa, Canada, first worked Las Vegas in the 1960s as an opening act for George Jones.
Proceeds from the show will benefit the education and outreach programming of The Smith Center.
Lamb award established
A new award honoring law enforcement legend Ralph Lamb will be presented annually at the Injured Police Officers Fund gala dinner “Heroes Live Forever.”
The inaugural award, presented last Wednesday at the Four Seasons, was established in Lamb’s name for his dedication to providing support to law enforcement families.
Actor Dennis Quaid, who played Lamb in the CBS drama “Vegas,” spoke at the event and referred to the legendary Clark County sheriff as “a true American hero of the same rank as John Wayne and Chuck Yeager.”
Lamb died July 3. He was 88.
Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison proclaimed Sept. 19-26 “Thank a Cop” week to honor the state’s 10,000 sworn officers.
The Scene and Heard
Our sighting last month of British singing star Ellie Goulding shooting a music video downtown has been confirmed in a release by the El Cortez. Goulding was filmed on the casino floor, the Jackie Gaughan suite, beauty shop, executive offices, East Fremont Street and the rooftop. Directed by Emil Nava, who created videos for Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran and Jennifer Lopez, the video will feature the song she sang here, “On My Mind.” It will be on the album, “Delirium,” which is due out Nov. 6.
On this day
Sept. 24, 1953: Actress and World War II pinup girl Rita Hayworth marries singing star Dick Haymes at the Sands, with the wedding procession parading through the casino. The marriage, her fourth of five, is tumultuous and lasts two years.
Sept. 25, 2009: Bob Stupak, a colorful, controversial Las Vegas icon whose exploits included building Vegas World and the Stratosphere, running for mayor and lieutenant governor, making a $1 million Super Bowl bet (that he hedged) and playing in a Harlem Globetrotters game, dies of leukemia at 67. (Thanks to Mike Precker)
At the Golden Tiki in Chinatown over the weekend: UNLV basketball greats Anderson Hunt and Moses Scurry and Stratosphere headliner Claire Sinclair and her understudy, LouLou D’vil of Finland.
The Punch Line
“(Democratic president candidate Bernie) Sanders had 27,500 in the sports arena in Los Angeles in August, 11,000 in Phoenix, 28,000 in Portland on Sunday. A guy in his 70s filling stadiums. Who does he think he is, a Rolling Stone?” — Stephen Colbert
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. On Twitter: @Norm_Clarke