It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, the city of Las Vegas was not as famous as it is now. Frank Sinatra is one of the people who contributed to putting the city on the map and made people want to visit this little spot in the desert.
He started performing “Las Vegas Nights” as part of a band. A decade later, he debuted as a headliner at Desert Inn, this time as a solo artist with a seasoned and promising career. By this time, people worldwide appreciated Las Vegas as a fabulous city in the desert, and it was now a travel destination receiving more traffic.
Sinatra featured in unique performances in different clubs and resorts such as Golden Nugget, Caesars Palace, the Sahara, and others. His special swagger became characteristic of most Las Vegas entertainment outlets whose best definition would be an adult playground. There was the right amount of freedom, openness, and maturity required for adult entertainment.
Sinatra’s influence and performances established Sin City as a hot entertainment spot and one of the best in the world. Over time, his catchy tracks played in most of the city’s clubs, contributing to the city’s nightlife.
He also contributed to the fight for racial equality during his escapades in Las Vegas, which up to the early ’50s had much racial segregation. He frequently went to the Golden Steer Steakhouse to dine with his friend Sammy Davis Jr. when black performers could not stay at the big hotels where they performed. When Sinatra’s name was big enough, he asked that Davis stay at the Sands, a brave action that showed his interest in equality for all people irrespective of race.
Sinatra attracted a large crowd everywhere he went. In Las Vegas, he not only had the attention of his fans but other celebrities too. When Howard Hughes bought the Sands, there was a fallout with Sinatra, and he moved to Caesars Palace, where he continued to wow his fans with his art, an icon in pop culture. He was also a charitable man known for giving back to the community.
He last performed in Sin City on May 29, 1994, at the MGM Grand. Between this time and his demise in 1998, Sinatra remained a relevant icon in Las Vegas, which saw him inducted to the Gaming Hall of Fame. He left a legacy to remember.