Hugh McBride's Reviews > That Old Black Magic: Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and the Golden Age of Las Vegas

That Old Black Magic by Tom Clavin
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May 26, 2012

really liked it

For most folks, the words "Golden Age of Las Vegas" are likely to conjure images of mobsters & the Rat Pack. And while Frank, Dean, & Sammy (and MoMo, Bugsy, & the boys) definitely left their mark on Sin City, they're not the only ones who transformed Vegas from a sleepy desert town to an internationally known destination.

In this book, Tom Clavin does an admirable job chronicling Vegas's "other" legendary group from this era - Louis Prima & Keely Smith (with Sam Butera & The Witnesses). While Sinatra et al were commanding the stage at The Sands, Louis, Keely, & Sam were taking no prisoners in the Casbar Lounge at The Sahara. While focusing primarily on Prima/Smith/Butera's legendary run at The Sahara during the 50s, Clavin also spends time on Prima's pre-Vegas career, as well as documenting the mostly sad aftermath.

If you have any interest in Las Vegas - particularly in the days when Vegas became *Vegas!" - or if you just appreciate well written accounts of iconic pop culture figures, then "That Old Black Magic" is well worth your time.
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Reading Progress

May 26, 2012 – Started Reading
May 26, 2012 – Shelved
May 26, 2012 –
page 23
10.27%
June 18, 2012 –
page 74
33.04%
June 25, 2012 –
page 82
36.61%
June 27, 2012 –
page 112
50.0%
July 18, 2012 – Finished Reading

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