Saturday, September 29, 2007

My Dear Friend Wayne

It's true.

I. am. a. Wayne. Newton. fan.

I've liked Wayne Newton since I was a little girl. I can remember seeing him on the Ed Sullivan Show. I'm not sure if it was the flirty smile, the hair, the banjo, or the fact that he was closer to my age than most other musicians and singers I was exposed to, or what. Even my parents kind of liked him. They had a Wayne Newton album that they would play for me on their stereo.

Not too long after Ted and I first started dating, we were discussing music and I mentioned that I liked Wayne. After I saw the look on Ted's face, I thought, "That's it...I guess we're finished now."

Fortunately, Ted stuck around, but he had made it pretty clear that Wayne was not a subject he was comfortable discussing. I continued my private crush and would watch him on TV any time he came on.

I even remember watching "The Lucy Show" (not to be confused with "I Love Lucy" or "The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour" or any of her other shows) when Lucy "discovered" Wayne. He was sitting on a little stool, playing his banjo, singing for the animals in the barn. How handsome!

Not too long after Ted and I were married, I found out that Wayne would be appearing in Cleveland and it happened to be ON MY BIRTHDAY! Well, needless to say, I pressed the issue with Ted and he agreed to go with me. I got the tickets through TicketTron (the predecessor to Ticket Master) and I was SO excited, counting down the days to the concert. Two days before the concert, a friend of mine called to say that she had heard on the radio that the concert was cancelled. I was in tears. (Yes, I got my money back, but that didn't help my disappointment.)

Throughout the years I would catch Wayne performing on some TV show or another, and even discovered an hour long show all about him on some cable channel. I watched it every time it was on.

In 2002 I went to Las Vegas for a week...ALL BY MYSELF. That's a subject for a different time, but before I went, I was able to get a ticket for Wayne!!! I was ecstatic!! And...the only show that had any seats available happened to be THE NIGHT BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY! (are we seeing a theme here?)

I had spent the day at the pool and went up to my room to shower and get ready for the show. The light was blinking on the phone. I checked the voice mail...and wouldn't you know it...the show had been cancelled. I was NOT happy. (are we seeing another theme here?)

By this time I had a couple of his CDs and enjoyed listening to them when I was driving to work or wherever...but only when I was alone. No one else would tolerate them.

I am still a fan, and watch him whenever he does a TV appearance. I still listen to his CDs occasionally, and was THRILLED to find out that he was going to be a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars" this season.

I watched the show Monday night, Tuesday night (when the men danced), and Wednesday night. I will honestly say that Tuesday night was a little disappointing for me. I realize that he's 67 years old now, but I guess I just expected a little more from him. I know that he's very active physically and thought that maybe he would have moved a little quicker, or with a little more footwork, or a little more of his charisma would show through, but heck, we can all have a bad day. At least he made it through to the next week.

Ah Wayne...that silky voice...


Anonymous said...

It is too funny that you would post this today. Today during the marathon when I ran past Tangiers in Akron, there was a man outside singing with a band. After the race, I told Dave he reminded me of Wayne Newton!

Anonymous said...

Uh, the last comment was from me!

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I bet you have the National Lampoon Las Vegas Vacation movie with Wayne Newton falling in love with Chevy Chase's wife. He's had a long run with his career, I loved when Lucy found him too, it was one of my favorites. Ter