“I’m an Indian boy from Virginia,” Wayne Newton told Larry King in an interview on the Larry King Show, acknowledging his Native American roots through his German-Cherokee mother, Evelyn, and his Irish-Powhatan ancestry, provided to him by his father, Patrick.
Wayne Newton was born in Norfolk, Virginia and the family moved to Roanoke, Virginia while Wayne was still a child. It seemed Wayne was born to be in music, teaching himself to play piano, guitar, and steel guitar. By age the age of 6, WDBJ, a radio station in Roanoke offered him his own show, at six o'clock in the morning.
Wayne and his older brother, Jerry, began performing professionally, singing in local clubs, fairs, theaters, and other venues, even touring with the Grand Ole Opry roadshows on weekends and playing some private parties. At 8, young Newton sang before President Truman at a USO show.
After the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, the Newton Brothers began performing on local TV shows, which led to them performing a dozen times on The Jackie Gleason Show over a two year period.
Some huge entertainment superstars like Bobby Darin, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, George Burns, and Danny Thomas took notice of Wayne’s talent and offered him support. The Newton brothers appeared on the highly-popular Bonanza series, but it was Wayne’s appearances on The Lucille Ball Show which really sparked notoriety.
Wayne Newton received his first Las Vegas contract while still in high school Newton opened for Benny's Las Vegas act for three years. When Benny’s contract ended, Wayne took over the headlining spotlight.
Before long, it was in Las Vegas where Wayne Newton really shined, becoming the biggest star on the strip, commanding a million dollars a month at one time, setting a record for the highest paid nightclub performer in history and winning the Entertainer of the Year award more than any other performer.
Wayne Newton made enough money to buy the Aladdin Casino and is world renown for raising tip bred Arabian horses on his ranch, ten minutes away from the Las Vegas strip.
A true philanthropist, Newton has performed many times for armed forces members over seas and has been honored for public service by the St. Jude Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the VFW and the American Legion. Las Vegas has honored him with the city's Medal of Honor and a street, Wayne Newton Boulevard.
Wayne Newton has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows.