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Newton presents surprise birthday gift to Adinolfi

By Norm Clarke  (VSiN Columnist) 

April 25, 2017 01:50 AM

Vinny Adinolfi couldn’t stop sobbing.

The lead singer of The Bronx Wanderers, the doo wop group that performs at Bally’s Windows showroom, kept hugging and thanking a Las Vegas legend last Wednesday.


Late in the show, there was a break for an introduction and out of the darkness came Wayne Newton, with an entourage that included his family and someone carrying a cake.


It was Adinolfi’s birthday, and Newton was bearing a gift bag. Their friendship evolved after sharing the showroom for about seven months. Adinolfi opened the gift box and started to lose his composure.

Newton explained that he has never removed a gold bracelet that Frank Sinatra gave him “when I was 35.”

Adinolfi was in awe of the bracelet almost as much as he idolized Newton.

Newton said he and his family and Adinolfi’s family had a copy made.

Newton said after Sinatra presented him with the bracelet, “I said, ‘Jeez, boss, that looks like a handcuff.’”

Sinatra cracked that he had the other half on his wrist, Newton said.

It wasn’t the only birthday celebration. It was 15th birthday of Newton’s daughter, Lauren, with wife Kathryn.

The scene and heard

Longtime fashion store owner Annee Nounna could be dining with the next president of France next month.

Nounna leaves for France on May 5, two days before the runoffs between Emmanuel Macron, a former Socialist economy minister, and Marine La Pen, who is the head of the far-right National Front and a friend of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Macron and La Pen advanced through the first-round of the presidential election.

It wouldn’t be Nounna’s first dinner with Macron, who left his party to run for president. 

Her close friend, French entertainment icon Line Renaud, is a longtime friends of Macron. “We’ve had dinner with him several times,” she said.

Nounna, also a longtime confidant of Siegfried and Roy, was ecstatic about Macron when I ran into her at the Celebrity Cars auction on Sunday, where she had her 1970 yellow Jaguar XKE up for sale, with an asking price of $98,999. 

Renaud, 88, has a long history in Las Vegas. She came to Las Vegas in the early 1960s as the lead singer of Casino de Paris, the main attraction at the Dunes. 

When the first illuminated stoplight was installed on Las Vegas Boulevard, near downtown, Renaud was given the honor of turning on the light.

In 1999, she was chosen to flip the switch that turned on the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas simultaneously as the Eiffel Tower lights went off in Paris, as part the opening ceremonies of the Las Vegas hotel and casino.   

Media notes

Former ABC “Good Morning America” co-hosts David Hartman and Joan Lunden received the Distinguished Service Award on Monday at the NAB convention. 

Former morning show rival Jane Pauley presented the award. Hartman, who turns 82 on May 18, was the first host of “Good Morning America” (1975) and later co-hosted with Lunden from 1980 to 1987. 

Fun factoid: Hartman played Rudolph the German-speaking head waiter in the original Broadway production of “Hello Dolly!” starring Carol Channing and, two years later, landed the role of Sheriff Fonse Pruitt in “The Ballad of Josie” starring Doris Day…

Veteran KSNV-TV, Channel 3 evening anchor Jim Snyder and Las Vegas corporate attorney Abbie Friedman got engaged in Florence, Italy in late March during a getaway that included a visit to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

He was briefly married to Jessica Moore, his co-anchor at KSNV, who moved to an anchor chair at WCBS-TV in New York in July. She is engaged to Life is Beautiful founder Rehan Choudry. 

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April 24, 1974: The Jackson 5, joined by Janet and Latoya, wrap up a two-week gig at the MGM Grand. The shows mark their Las Vegas debut, five years after they became an international sensation, but they spend plenty of time in the city in the years to come.


April 25, 1978: “Vega$”, the first TV show filmed entirely in Las Vegas, premieres on ABC. Robert Urich is a detective tooling around in a 1957 Thunderbird foiling bad guys. Tony Curtis is one of his co-stars. Cameos feature a cast of thousands, from Muhammad Ali to Dean Martin. It lasts three seasons.


The punch line

“Between Easter and 4/20, this has been a huge week for eating candy and rolling stuff.” – Jimmy Kimmel.

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