I returned for a visit to Cocktail Nation with Koop Kooper and we talked about my new book as well as Las Vegas history.
You can hear it here: Cocktail Nation
In early August, I was a guest on Casey Morrell's KNPR show.
I talked about my new ebook, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1956-1973 as well as historic preservation, what Las Vegas was like back then and what made the hotels so special.
Here's the interview for your listening pleasure:
Dear Classic Las Vegas fans! Volume 2 of my Las Vegas history book has just been released - and is available in all e-reader formats!
This multimedia-rich book is a follow up to my previously released Volume 1 book (1930-1955). It continues the historical journey by telling the fascinating story of the Las Vegas Strip hotels built during the turbulent years of cultural and societal change, 1956-1973.
Offering the perspective of those who were there, you will read detailed histories of those hotels from conception to implosion (with a few survival stories) and learn about the visionaries who built them, the entertainers who performed there and from the men and women who worked, entertained and played there.
loaded with multimedia content!
♠️ Nearly 30 VIDEOS
that can be played inside the book!
♣️ CUSTOM DESIGNED MAPS
showing each hotel's location on the Strip
♥️ TOUCHSCREEN PHOTO GALLERIES
of rarely seen historical images
Promotional pricing - only $9.99
Check out the book page to get your copy
Book review by writer John L. Smith
Writer John L. Smith wrote a dynamite review for my book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955:
It was just before Christmas in 1955 when New Orleans sax man Sam Butera received a phone call at home.
It was his old pal and occasional running mate Louis Prima on the line. Prima’s high-energy performances with Keely Smith had made them a must-see act on the Las Vegas Strip.
But the act needed to kick it up a notch. Prima was calling that Christmas Eve with a request for Butera to hop on a flight to Vegas and let that tenor sax rip.
Vegas would have to wait, but only until the day after Christmas. Butera’s decision helped define Las Vegas lounge culture forever.
It’s safe to say those of us who were fortunate enough to interview Butera never tired of hearing the generous spirit tell that story. It figures that Lynn Zook would have that anecdote – along with so many more — in her new multimedia book, “Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955.”
Available on Amazon, iTunes, and other sources as a download, the book includes rarely-seen photographs, interviews with Butera and many more great Las Vegas characters from the past, with nearly 40 videos. The design itself is a delight, but if you’re a lover of Las Vegas of a certain age, its the content that will make you want to jump and jive.
The book takes you through the histories of some of the most iconic hotel-casinos in the history of the Strip. They were gambling joints, sure, but between their entertainment policies and their flashy architecture the Boulevard’s best resorts dazzled hip and square alike, offering many dining experiences plus a party atmosphere 24 hours a day.
If that pitch sounds a little like the way most Las Vegas resorts portray themselves in the modern era, it’s because it’s the undeniable formula for success. Check out the clubs and pools on the Strip today – the ones with the party atmosphere are anthills of activity. Only the hairstyles and tattoos have changed.
Zook comes by her love of neon Las Vegas honestly. She moved with her family to Las Vegas on Labor Day in 1961. Her mother took a job as a showroom waitress — a great gig in that era — first in the Sky Room at the Desert Inn, then to the Sahara, and then over to the Stardust. When mom landed a coveted spot at the Circus Maximus at Caesars, it was one of the best duties on the Strip. And there were side benefits.
With a parent working in close proximity to the stage, Lynn was able to see the Smothers Brothers, “Fiddler On the Roof,” “Mame,” “Sweet Charity,” and even Elvis.
“Probably one reason why I have such a love for the town is that I had a very memorable childhood,” says Zook, a Los Angeles resident who works as a digital librarian in the consumer products division of Warner Bros. “I grew up in Las Vegas in the 1960s and 1970s in that mythical era when the city was known as the entertainment capital of the world.”
In the book, the El Rancho, Last Frontier, Flamingo, Thunderbird, and Sands are featured in fine style. And, yes, she’s already planning a followup that will highlight more resorts from the Las Vegas pantheon.
The best way to familiarize yourself with Zook’s Las Vegas love affair is to go to her classiclasvegas.com site, where you’ll be reminded that her devotion is “part of a nearly two-decade long historical preservation project documenting the history of Las Vegas and the stories of the men and women who transformed it from a dusty railroad town into one of the most legendary cities ever built.” Her blog posts are fascinating.
She left Las Vegas in 1977 to attend college in California, but “over the years, going back and forth visiting family I realized the city was changing rapidly and the town I’d grown up with was vanishing from the landscape.
“I wanted to help preserve sort of as many of the stories as I could.
Like Butera and Prima and all the other finger-snapping inhabitants of her new book, Lynn Zook doesn’t miss a beat.
Learn more about the history of Vegas
If you still haven't read my book, you can learn more about it at my website Classiclasvegas.com
It's just $9.99!
Special thanks to CDC Gaming Reports
We are thrilled to share this news:
Turner Classic Movies - Classic Las Vegas night
Just wanted to give everyone a heads up-tomorrow evening-Monday, January 30th-is Classic Las Vegas night on Turner Classic Movies (TCM)!
The films they will be showing are a great visual time capsule of what the Las Vegas Strip looked like in its glory days as the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Beginning at 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST, they are showing:
8:00/5:00: Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) starring Cyd Charisse and Dan Dailey. A ballerina becomes a gambler's lucky charm. Co-stars Agnes Moorehead and Jim Backus.
10:00/7:00 The Las Vegas Story (1952) starring Victor Mature, Jane Russell and Vincent Price. When newlyweds visit Las Vegas, the wife's shady past comes to the surface. Co-stars Hoagy Carmichael and Brad Dexter.
11:45/8:45 Viva Las Vegas (1964) starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret. A race-car driver falls for a pretty swimming instructor who wants him to slow down his career. Co-stars Nicky Blair, William Demarest, the Flamingo Hotel, and other Las Vegas landmarks.
1:15 am/10:15 pm Ocean's Eleven (1960) starring Frank, Dean, Sammy, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. A group of friends plot to rob a Las Vegas casino. Co-stars Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine, Caesar Romero, the Desert Inn, the Sands, the Sahara, the Riviera and the Flamingo Hotels.
So, pour yourself a cold drink and enjoy the trip back in time!
And if you want to know more about the Classic Las Vegas Strip, you can order my book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 by visiting my website: classiclasvegas.com
If you are still making New Year's resolutions, don't forget to add Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 to your reading list!
This entertaining e-book covers the formative years of the Las Vegas Strip with detailed histories of the first ten hotels built on the famed boulevard. From conception to destruction (with the exception of the Flamingo hotel which is still going strong), the book highlights the architecture, the entertainers, the people who worked in the hotels and the men who dreams made it all possible. Without them, the Las Vegas Strip of today would be a very different place.
With rarely seen photographs and video interviews with the men and women who were there, the book is just $9.99. Available on iTunes, Amazon and Nook.
Interviews and articles that highlight the book
From all of us at Classic Las Vegas, we want to wish all of you the most joyous of Holiday Seasons!
May this season be filled with love, hope, warmth and family!
KNPR interview with Casey Morell
If you missed the airing on my interview with Casey Morell on KNPR the other morning, you can listen to it here.
Tom Hawley's Video Vault
If you missed me on Tom Hawley's Video Vault on Channel 3, no worries, you can watch it here.
Don't forget- the book is available on the iTunes Store, Amazon for Kindle readers and Fire Tablets, Barnes and Nobel Nook Press for Nook devices and Kobo.
It is just $9.99 and includes rarely seen, historic images and videos.
Makes a great Holiday gift for anyone who loves Las Vegas and Las Vegas history!
Direct links are found here.
K-NPR interview - Fri, Nov 18
I will be on K-NPR (the Las Vegas NPR affiliate), tomorrow morning (Friday, Nov. 18th) discussing my new book: Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955.
Here are the details:
The interview will start at about 9:40 a.m. Pacific.
And it’ll repeat at about 7:40 p.m. Pacific
Listen to the KNPR live stream:
- On the homepage, click: “Listen”
- Click: “News 88.9 KNPR Live Stream”
- Adjust the volume on your device!
It should be up on the KNPR website in case you miss it so be sure to check their website.
Watch Channel 3's Video Vault
Also, if you missed my piece on Channel 3's Video Vault you can see the video on their website:Channel 3's Video Vault
Be sure to check it out and Remember: the book makes a great gift not only for you but for the Las Vegas lovers in your life!
For direct links to the iTunes Store, Amazon and Barnes and Noble Nook, visit:
As the holidays approach, the media events for my new book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip: 1930-1955, are heating up!
Tom Hawley's Video Vault - Nov 16
I will be appearing on Tom Hawley's Video Vault feature talking about the book on Wednesday, November 16th on KSNV, Channel 3 in Las Vegas. I hope you will tune in!
Radio interview on K-NPR
My radio interview on K-NPR in Las Vegas should air this week as well. As soon as I have a date for that, I will post it on the Classic Las Vegas Blog Facebook Page.
In the meantime, don't forget that the book makes a great holiday gift for the Las Vegas lover in your life!
Remember, just $9.99! The book includes detailed histories of the first ten hotels built on the Strip and includes rarely-seen images and over 30 video clips of men and women talking about the Las Vegas of our collective memory.
Available for Macs and iPads, Kindle devices and Fire tablets as well as Nook devices.
Instantly download your copy!
I am happy to announce that my book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 is now available for a variety of e-readers including Macs, iPads and iPhones, Kindles, Fire Tablets and now also for Nooks!
If you love Las Vegas history, this book is for you!
Everyone thinks they know the history of the Las Vegas Strip but the real story is one that many people will be surprised to learn that they know only parts of the story. Want to know what was there before the Bellagio, the Wynn and the Encore, the SLS, the Venetian, or those empty plots of land that look out of place? Why is the Flamingo one of the oldest and most surviving hotels on the boulevard?
This is the book you are looking for!
This book gives you a detailed history of the Las Vegas Strip during its formative years, 1930-1955. This content rich, enhanced book includes rarely seen, historic imagery of the first ten hotels and video interviews with men and women who were there and helped make that history.
Read the detailed histories of the first ten hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, including the El Rancho Vegas, Hotel Last Frontier, Flamingo, Thunderbird, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, Sahara, Sands, Royal Nevada, Riviera and the Dunes. Included in these histories are the architectural designs, the neon signage and how each of the hotels evolved.
The dreamers, who saw the future like few others and who built these hotels, helped turn a five-mile stretch of blacktop highway into the Entertainment Capital of the World.
This is the story of the first twenty-five years of the Classic Las Vegas Strip-how it began, and how it grew.
Instantly download the book!
- My book is on the iTunes Store for those with iPads and Macs
- Available on Amazon for those with Kindle devices and Fire tablets
- Also available on Barnes and Noble's Nook Bookstore for those with Nook devices and on Kobo
For more details, visit Classiclasvegas.com
Just $9.99 and don't forget- it makes a great Holiday gift for the Las Vegas lover in your life!
My book on the first 25 years of the classic Las Vegas Strip, "Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip: 1930-1955", is now available not only on iTunes for iPads and Mac users but now also available on Amazon for Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets.
The book covers the visionaries who helped turn a two-lane blacktop highway into the Entertainment Capital of the World. There is a detailed history of each of the first ten hotels built including the El Rancho Vegas, the Hotel Last Frontier (and its various names), the Flamingo, the Thunderbird, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, the Sahara, the Sands, the Royal Nevada, the Riviera and the Dunes.
This multi-touch, enhanced e-book has rarely seen, historic imagery and over 35 videos of men and women who were there talking about the history they witnessed.
Be sure to check it out!
Coming soon for Nook readers!
New book available for Kindle and Kindle Fire
As many of you know, my new e-book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 is available on the iTunes Store. Up till now, you had to have a Mac computer, an iPad or an iPhone to read it. Well, the book is now available for Kindle and Kindle Fire tablets. And don't forget, it is just $9.99!
Nevada State Museum Presentation
To celebrate this announcement, I will be giving a presentation on the book on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas! The program begins at 2:00 pm and will last about 90 minutes with a question and answer session following.
I hope you can join us for an afternoon of history and fun!
Great news, Classic Las Vegas lovers!
As many of you know, my new e-book, Gambling on a Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955 is available on the iTunes Store. Up till now, you had to have a Mac computer, an iPad or an iPhone to read it.
Well, the book will soon be available for Kindle, Kindle Fire tablets and Nook devices! You won't want to miss the announcement so be sure to subscribe to this blog so you don't miss it! And don't forget, it is just $9.99!
Presentation at Nevada State Museum
To celebrate this upcoming announcement, I will be giving a presentation on the book on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas! The program begins at 2:00 pm and will last about 90 minutes with a question and answer session following.
I hope you can join us for an afternoon of history and fun!
The book will soon be available for Kindle and Nook devices!
Want to hear Sam Butera talk about getting the phone call from Louie Prima that changed his life? Or Burton Cohen talk about working at the Desert Inn (his favorite hotel) as well as working for Kirk Kerkorian?
How about Stan Irwin recounting bringing the Beatles to Las Vegas in 1963 and hear from those who were in the audience for the shows? Or Myram Borders and others talking about Howard Hughes? Bugsy Siegel? There are stories about Benjamin Siegel, too!
Pete Barbutti, Claude Trenier, Steve Rossi, Freddie Bell and others talk about being an entertainer on the Las Vegas Strip and rubbing elbows with high rollers and other entertainers like Sinatra, Judy Garland, Mae West and more!
It's all in the new multi-touch e-book that I have written, Gambling on Dream: The Classic Las Vegas Strip 1930-1955, available now on the iTunes Store. Stories from the men and women who were there, rarely seen photos and ephemera galleries and video clips!
Buy your copy now for only $9.99!
KCAL9 News Interview
Here I am on KCAL channel 9 speaking with Juan Fernandez about the book:
Amazon Kindle version coming soon!
(this article was originally published September 1, 2016)