Alright fellas, so it’s your first Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend! You’ve booked your hotel room, bought your High Roller ticket, got your flight and you downloaded the VLV schedule onto your phone. You’re either going alone because you’re single, you have no friends or your girlfriend hates Rockabilly, either way, you want to know what to pack in your suitcase. Well here’s a checklist of things you may want to bring to Viva Las Vegas to make your first experience that much better:
First things first, many of the vendors only take cash, so if you’re looking to buy some records for your music collection or get that new jacket you’ve been wanting, bring paper money. However, you want to know your budget first, decide what you’re going to be spending most of your money on. I can already tell you that you’ll be spending most of it at the food court and/or gambling... I mean, it is Vegas after all. So save that cash!
Whatever your outfit is going to be, you’re going to wear T-shirts, regardless. I recommend you bring a week supply of shirts. “But I’m only going for the weekend.” Well yes, but if you’re someone who’s going to be dancing all night at the record hops or in the hot Vegas sun during the car show, you’ll probably find yourself sweating profusely and will need to change that shirt (be sure to bring deodorant while you’re at it). Now this only works if you’re staying at The Orleans, unless you don’t mind shuttling back to your hotel or carrying a backpack full of white or black T-shirts. It’s good to just have some extra shirts with you anyway, you never know. Same goes with your jeans.
• Suit up!
For those who’ve been to Viva Las Vegas before know by now that Saturday night is when everybody dresses up. I mean, yes, everyone dresses up for the entire weekend but Saturday is when people dress to the nines. As a guy, you probably won’t be making many outfit changes so one suit is enough. If you’re not a suit guy, at least a dress shirt and vintage tie does the trick or if you’re a wannabe cowboy, bring your Western outfit. Just don’t go in with a fanny pack and Crocs with socks, unless you’re trying to be ironic. Basically, you want to be rolling in the casino looking like the guys from the movie, Swingers. You’ll get many compliments from the ladies, trust me.
• Pomade, pomade, pomade!
This is kind of obvious, unless you’re lacking hair or going for the Mr. Clean look, you won’t need it. But you should bring a tin can of your favorite Pomade. What’s Rockabilly without slick looking hair? However, I suggest if you’re going to comb that pompadour, don’t comb it in public... You’re not Danny Zuko from Grease.
• Fun in the Sun!
You know how hot it can get in Vegas, right? So bring that sunblock and sunglasses for both the pool party and car show. Speaking of protecting your eyes, I also highly recommend eye drops, incase that sun does get into your eyes and become red. They’ll probably be red anyway from the lack of sleep you’ll definitely be getting over the weekend. Also, throw in a Hawaiian shirt or a Cabana set so you can show it off at the pool party. And if you’re all about the vintage, there’s a Men’s Swimsuit Contest, so keep that in mind.
• Dr. Scholl’s is your friend.
If you’re someone who wears Converse and Vans, no matter how comfortable they feel at first, they’re going to take a toll on your feet after a day of walking and dancing. Trust me, you’re not going to be doing a lot of standing around at Viva Las Vegas. Do yourself a favor and get the Dr. Scholl’s. You’ll thank yourself for it.
• Oh no! The Viva Plague!
One last thing and this goes for everyone, but many folks have gotten incredibly sick after a weekend at Viva Las Vegas. It’s what we call “The Viva Plague”, you either get it from shaking hands or kissing strangers, touching the money you won at the Craps table and forgetting to wash your hands when you eat at Sbarro... whatever it may be, just know that Vegas is not just Sin City, it’s Germ City. So make sure to grab some Emergen-C and drink it every day before you leave your hotel room. I can’t say that it’s going to work after Viva Las Vegas, but you definitely don’t want to get sick during it. You could wear a protective mask all weekend, but that would just look weird. Most importantly, don’t drink the Vegas water. Instead, grab some bottles of water and stock ‘em in your room beforehand.
So now let’s recap!
That’s about it! I’m sure there are many things that can be added to this checklist, you can probably grab them at the hotel gift shop. But these are the essentials. Now do you feel ready for Viva Las Vegas? -Keith Azoubel
Want to be a part of a photo like the one below? Afraid of going to Viva Las Vegas solo? Looking to meet new friends? Need a dance partner? Single? No matter what you want to do, everyone is welcome at our meetups!
Not only do we have the Sober Meetup and the Singles Meetup returning, but this year, due to popular demand, we've added a LGBTQ Meetup and an Entertainers of Color Meet and Greet! Also, if you're on Rockabillydating.net or Rockabillynetwork.com, going to the meetups is a great way to meet people you've been chatting with online!
All meetups will take place on Thursday, April 19th, 2018. Hosts to be announced. Times and Locations are as follows:
Sweet Pea's Hooch 'n Smooch : Bienville 1:00- 5:00 PM
Sober Meetup : Piano Bar 5:30 - 6:30 PM
LGBTQ Meetup: VLV Room 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Singles Meetup: Piano bar 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Entertainers of Color Meet and Greet: Time and Location TBA
Photo by John Gilhooley
Coming to Viva Las Vegas from out of town? Flying in to McCarron Airport? Don’t forget to book your round-trip shuttle service to and from the airport at a special Viva Las Vegas discount!
Economy Service is just $11 per person one-way and Xpress non-Stop service is $18 per person one-way.
Get a discount for booking your round-trip Xpress service for just $32 per person!
No Taxi lines, On-site airport staff and 30% cheaper than taxis. Ask about luxury service, as well.
Available from April 12-29, 2018
Viva Las Vegas is proud and excited to bring you the Stars of Sun Rockabilly Show at VLV21! We have gathered together as many of the vintage Sun Records acts that we could and we hope to add to the list as we get closer to the event.
Here is just a taste of who you can expect to see and hear: Carl Mann will be doing his favorite hits such as “Mona Lisa” and “Pretend”. Hayden Thompson has recorded some of the best Sun Rockabilly tracks EVER and you can bet we will hear “Fairlane Rock” and “Love My Baby”. We also have Narvel Felts, who actually lives on a street named after him. We are looking forward to hearing “You Dont Care”. “There'll Be No More Crying the Blues” is another one of the Sun rockabilly classics by Alton & Jimmy and they are definitely part of the show. Sonny Burgess was booked for this show but as I am sure you know, he recently passed away. His backing band, The Pacers, will be doing a tribute to Sonny, who has a ton of great rockabilly tracks. He will surely be missed. Johnny Powers and Rudy Grayzell came to Sun Records a little bit later and they recorded great tracks such as, “With Your Love, With Your Kiss” (JP) and “Judy” (RG).
LISTEN TO CARL MANN: https://youtu.be/ZDqBIzbNt10
LISTEN TO JOHNNY POWERS: https://youtu.be/N0V3hxK-a5kLEFT TO RIGHT: CARL MANN, HAYDEN THOMPSON, NARVEL FELTS, JOHNNY POWERS AND RUDY GRAYZELL SONNY BURGESS WITH THE PACERS
This show will also include 2 of the Sun drummers from the 1950's. Jimmy van Eaton has played on so many great songs by acts like these; Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and many more. He has a lot of great hits to choose from! WS Holland played with Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and The Million Dollar Quartet so he equally has a long list of songs he can play.
If you are a huge rockabilly fan, you won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime show of Sun Records legends at Viva Las Vegas #21 in April- be sure you buy your High Roller passes before they sell out!
One of the last discoveries on Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label, piano player Carl Mann was best known for his rockabilly reworking of the Nat "King" Cole pop standard "Mona Lisa." That million-selling hit positioned him as something of a softer, smoother Jerry Lee Lewis, possessed of a crooner's instincts and a velvety vibrato. Unfortunately, Mann was never able to land another hit on the level of "Mona Lisa," despite waxing a fair amount of high-quality rock & roll. Like many early rock vets, he eventually moved into country music when the rockabilly market dried up, but never successfully established himself in that arena, and gradually drifted out of music.
Carl Mann was born in Huntingdon, TN, on August 22, 1942. He grew up in a strongly rural area, where his family ran a lumber business, and fell in love with country music as a child. He began singing in church at age nine and soon moved on to performing country songs at area talent contests. He learned guitar at age ten, and piano at 13, by which time he'd already become a regular on local radio. He also formed a band with several other young musicians, and soon took an interest in the R&B and rockabilly records that some of his DJ friends played on the radio, especially those of Elvis Presley. In 1957, Mann successfully auditioned for the Jaxon label and cut his debut single, "Gonna Rock and Roll Tonight" b/w "Rockin' Love"; those sides marked his first collaborations with guitarist Eddie Bush, who would become an important member of Mann's band, and assisted him on his rearrangement of "Mona Lisa." Mann cut several more unreleased sides for Jaxon over the next year, and caught a break when Carl Perkins' drummer Bill "Fluke" Holland offered to become his manager. Holland brought Mann to Sun Records in 1959, and Sam Phillips signed him to a three-year deal. Mann cut his take on "Mona Lisa" early that year, and while Phillips wasn't keen on releasing it as a single, Conway Twitty heard the demo tape and quickly cut his own version, which began climbing the charts. Phillips hurriedly issued Mann's, which battled Twitty's all the way up the pop charts. Both hit the Top 30, and while they tended to cancel each other out in terms of placement, Mann's wound up selling over a million copies; and he wasn't even 17 years old.
In 1974, Mann attempted a comeback singing straight country material; he issued several singles over the next few years on ABC and Dot, but they didn't fit in with the slick countrypolitan records then dominating the charts. In 1977, Mann got an offer from the Dutch label Rockhouse to record for European audiences; he issued a couple of albums on that label, 1978's half-live/half-studio Gonna Rock'n'Roll Tonight and 1981's In Rockabilly Country. Mann toured periodically during the '80s, returning to Europe every so often, and finally retired to concentrate on the family logging business. He still resides in Huntingdon, TN.
PHOTO ABOVE FROM VLV #17
Portions of Article Reposted from AllMusic and written by Steve Huey. See full article here: https://www.allmusic.com/artist/carl-mann-mn0000161182/biography
Email us at email@example.com if any comments on the above.
VLV: Let’s start with the obvious: How did you discover Pin-up and get started in contests?
M.S.: I first discovered pinup… hmmm back in 2011. I had just moved to Dunedin in little old New Zealand and decided to follow a good friend of mine, Delia Nerva, to her Burlesque class to give it a go and make some new friends. It was great – I found a whole bunch of likeminded individuals who shared my love of vintage, thrift shopping and classic hair styles inspired by the 40’s - 60’s. At this point in my life, it greatly helped me with my confidence to delve further into the styles, wear more eye catching pieces, and stop giving two-cahoots what others thought about my appearance.
VLV: How did you feel before your first competition? How did it go?
M.S.: My first competition (and one of only two I had entered prior to Miss VLV Pin-up) was Miss 1950s classic pinup, in 2012. The actual pageant was a ‘sign up on the day’ style pageant and it was out of town. I, again, had just moved to a new city so thought it might be a nice opportunity to meet some people involved in the scene in my general area. I was so freaked out the morning before the competition I had to get friend to help me tease my hair. But I was committed – I love my vintage, so got out the cutest 1950s number which had been waiting in my closet for a year without being worn, my grandmas faux fur stole and purse and a good old pair of op shopped shoes, and drove the 1 hour to the competition. The scariest part for me is never being on the actual stage, it is always the buildup and the waiting for the results. But I was super duper lucky and took away the title along with meeting some super lovely ladies.
VLV: Who are your favorite photographers to work with?
M.S.: Well I work very closely with a photographer in New Zealand called Tony McKay Studios. Tony is a perfectionist, very humble and very good at what he does. I also like how he will work with you to help achieve YOUR vision – which from someone who tries to strive away from what is expected, is also essential.
VLV: Which photographers do you dream of working with?
M.S.: Hmmmm this is a hard one. I like to have a very diverse portfolio, in a hope of showcasing the many different sides to me… so I don’t dream of any SPECIFIC photographer as per say, more I dream of working with photographers who have out of the ordinary styles, showcase me in a different light, or can showcase something you never expected to be your new favorite image!
VLV: Who are your main inspirations?
M.S.: My main inspiration in life is my grandma; she taught me everything I know - from empathy, to how to be a lady, all the way through to the importance of having a strong work ethic. She is my number one supporter and I guess, fan (with the laminated newspaper clippings to prove it), and is always so so so excited to hear me going out into the world and living an out of the ordinary (extraordinary) life.
VLV: Got any big pin-up goals?
M.S.: Honestly, my number one goal is to get out into the community – hopefully be invited to events so I can continue meeting like-minded individuals, AND see different festivals and events across the globe. If I can spread a little happiness at the same time then (smacks lips) Perfect! I also like showing I am a real human and am just as crazy and weird in real life as people hear hahaha
VLV: What is your favorite virgin or alcoholic cocktail?
M.S.: I’m a Mojito kinda gal – there is something about the mix of flavours which create a little modern madness ;)
VLV: How long have you been attending Viva Las Vegas and what is your favorite/interesting memory from the event?
M.S.: 2017 was my first year – so of course it was pretty memorable:D My most interesting moment hmmmmmm – would to have been when we were waiting to get into the markets and I got my husband to hold my 1940s Japanese collapsible bamboo bag like Simba from the lion kings opening credits (to which he sang the song much to the amusement of the growing crowd) to protect it from being squished haha Otherwise seeing Wanda Jackson IRL was pretty fantastic – o o o and standing with the other ladies at the pin up pageant; I still keep in touch with a number of them which showcase how the pageant can bring the community together.
VLV: What made you decide to enter the Pin-up competition at Viva Las Vegas #20? Have you entered before?
M.S.: 2017 was my first year entering Miss VLV Pin-up. I had decided a few years prior I was going to enter the 20th anniversary competition but, over the course of the submission period had chickened out, built up courage and then chicken out again on multiple occasions. I finally entered after watching a TedX talk talking about how we need to teach woman to be brave – a subject which resonated with me – and to go out and to take chances! Which is exactly what I did!
VLV: What can we look forward to from you in the future?
M.S.: My goal is to get out further into the international community to meet people in real life and show people how cool all the cats are from NZ. Other than this you can expect the same old madness haha
VLV: Will we see you at VLV 21?
M.S.: You willlll! We already have our high roller passes – we couldn’t miss the sun records showcase and the pinup pageant.
VLV: Lastly- what tips do you have for those wanting to compete next year at VLV 21? What do wish you would have known?
M.S.: If you are even thinking about competing, then you should try! We all go through life surrounded by what if’s and shoulda coulda wouldas. Sometimes you just have to throw caution into the wind. AND if you are looking for a little confidence booster then buy yourself the Dr Zeuss book “oh the places you will go” – it shall provide you will all the courage you need. Also, side note, DO NOT be discouraged if you do not make it into the top 5. Have a strategy in place, just in case, and get your community (and friends/family) behind you – YOU CAN DO IT!
VLV: Any last words?
M.S.: As always; “today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one else who is youer than you”. So go out into the world being confidently weird, seizing opportunity and living your life, as no one else is going to live it for you!
The goal of the contest is to find the pinup each year who exemplifies what it means to be a great pin-up in today’s modern world. We are looking for a pin-up who can carry herself in a crowd but who shines within it. She must be positive, professional, kind and compassionate. This contest is not one that is based solely on popularity or cosmetic appeal but one that includes inner beauty as well. Please read the information on rules and requirements carefully before applying.
After submissions close, a panel of judges will pick 5 finalists. The contestants will also vote on a contestant’s choice as one of the finalists. Then on January 7th we will round up the remaining 6 of 12 finalists through public voting.
Finalists will be chosen on their bio entry, hobbies, what sort of outside work they do in their communities and or various charities if any. It is NOT mandatory that any applicant be active in outside charities. It is just an idea to learn more about who you are and what you are passionate about.
No performance, song or dance necessary, just good ol fashion glamour, sophistication and poise.
Here is the schedule for submissions and announcements
Rules for Online Entry:
*All contestants MUST be 21 and over *Photos may not contain any nudity or be provocative of any kind *Finalists must have a public profile on Facebook or add Miss Rockwell (details to be emailed) *All contestants must follow the code of conduct (sent via email) *All contestants must apply with a professional photo image and sign a release for use
We encourage entries of all shapes and sizes, from anywhere in the globe! We look forward to reading all about you. Good Luck!!!
Rules for Online Voting: *You may not purchase votes, trade goods or services for votes or use bribery for votes *You may only vote one time per email address and IP address
We encourage organic likes. Please remember this is for fun. We want this to be a great experience for all involved.
**IMPORTANT NOTE. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY** In the submissions form there are notes letting you know the word limits per box. Do not go over the # or your Submission may not go through. There is a photo size limit. Each image should not be high resolution. They need to be web sized. Standard web image sizes are between 800px and 1000px or smaller. Do not go over as your application may not go through. Suggestion: Save all the information you enter in each box BEFORE hitting enter. This way if there is any issue you do not need to enter it over again. You can just cut and pace in each box. Submissions are typically approved within 1-3 days. If you do not see your submission you can email to follow up. firstname.lastname@example.org
A full list of contest rules will be sent directly to the finalists after they are chosen in and announced January.
At the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender Car Show the Finalists will be voted on by the attendees at the car show. Voting will take place by placing a raffle ticket in the container of the Pin-Up that you, the Viva Las Vegas Attendees would like to vote for. The voting station will be located next to the Viva Las Vegas Merch booth at the Sort This Out Cellars booth. We will close voting at 2pm. The attendees will be asked to judge the finalists based on:
Overall Styling Presentation
At the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender All finalists will receive a gift bag courtesy of our sponsors as well as entry into Viva Las Vegas #22!-Photo Steve Prue
This is a competition in which top burlesque dancers compete for the title Miss Viva Las Vegas. The best dancer is one that represents the spirit of Viva Las Vegas, and the sexy and glamorous art of the striptease. Regarded as one of the top burlesque titles in the world today, Miss Viva Las Vegas is an edge-of-your-seat burlesque competition held in the flashiest city in America!
New News for this year’s competition: We will no longer be employing the applause-o-meter and instead going with a panel of judges who are well respected and knowledgeable about burlesque. This panel of esteemed judges will be made public prior to the event.
Submissions started on September 1st, 2017. When Submissions close on December 16th, our panel of burlesque experts will choose the first 4 finalists. The competitors will choose 1 more. Those 5 will be announced on January 4th at which point the rest of the competitors will be online for public voting starting January 5th to choose the other 5 finalists. Public voting ends on January 31st and finalists will be announced on February 2nd! These 10 finalists will advance to the gorgeous stage of The Orleans Showroom and compete to become Miss Viva Las Vegas #21!
Frankie Fictitious won the Burlesque Competition at Viva Las Vegas #20 in 2017 and since then has been winning titles all over the US! We asked her some questions about her background in burlesque as well as for some advice for those looking to compete in the future. Of course we also wanted to know her favorite drink! Read on and get to know Frankie Fictitious!
M.S. Let’s start with the obvious: How did you discover burlesque and get into performing?
F.F. I’ve always been drawn to all things vintage whether it be lifestyle, fashion, or music. Naturally that led me to see Dita Von Teese. When I saw her Swarovski encrusted costumes on stage I knew that’s where I wanted to be! I then sought out Fishnet Follies Classic Burlesque Revue in Oakland, CA and took classes.
M.S. How did you feel before your first show? How did it go?
F.F. Before my first performance, oh my I was so nervous. I kept asking myself “What did I get myself into?”. Soon enough my music started, my muscle memory took over, and it was over before knew it! I couldn’t tell you what I did up there, my adrenaline just took over. All I know is exiting the stage I had an overwhelming feeling of joy and I was ready to do it again! I still get those same nerves to this day, but a little nerves are a good thing that keeps us excited about what we are doing.
M.S. Tell us about your first costume.
F.F. My very first burlesque costume was based off of 1920s under bits, it was all gold fringe with not a single rhinestone on it.
M.S. Who are your main inspirations?
F.F. My biggest inspirations are Dita Von Teese, Katy Perry, Lou Lou D’vil and fashion designer Guo Pei.
M.S. Got any big burlesque goals?
F.F. My goal as a burlesque performer is to be able to travel and share my art with the world.
M.S. What is your favorite virgin or alcoholic cocktail?
F.F. Pops Rumpopo
M.S. How long have you been attending Viva Las Vegas and what is your favorite/interesting memory from the event?
F.F. This is my third year attending Viva Las Vegas. My favorite part about the event is being able to get to know so many awesome people!
M.S. Now, You competed in the Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition before. What made you decide to submit to again? How did you choose your act this time?
F.F. I competed in the Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition in 2016, that year I received the lowest amount of applause from the “applause-o-meter”, my ego was shot after that. I was feeling a little discouraged and I didn’t think I would submit again, but after remembering how many wonderful people I met the previous year I figured I would try again and see what happens. To my surprise I made it through the online voting portion! I honestly did not expect to win, I was just going there to have a good time. I chose an act that felt true to me. My “DRAGON LADY” act was inspired by all the Asian exotic dancers that came before me, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of performing with and for. In this act I blend this classic Asian element with my love for rock ’n roll.
M.S. Any hints to drop about your step down performance in 2018? What can we look forward to?
F.F. All I can say about my step down performance is, be ready for a Wild Ride ;)
M.S. Lastly- what tips do you have for those wanting to compete next year at VLV 21? What do wish you would have known?
F.F. My advice for those competing next year: I think the most important part about performing is to have fun and enjoy yourself. When you’re having fun on stage that energy carries into the audience and they can feel your presence.
M.S. Any last words?
F.F. Don’t let negative people or energy knock you down. Work hard, stay positive and true to yourself, it will pay off in the end.
Check out Frankie's website at https://www.frankiefictitious.com/
Top Photo and Last photo By Shannon Brooke. Crown and Sash Photo by Gina Barbara