Hit The Jackpot! The Las Vegas Story

Sure you wanna hear Jack Jones sing "Wives and Lovers."

It might be a little late to think about what to get that special hipster on

your list for Christmas, but it's never too late to think about what you're

gonna get when you go to the store to return that Michael Bolton CD your aunt

got you. The folks at Rhino Records know how you feel, and they want to make

sure you're not left crying in your martini, but they also want to make sure

that you know the Cocktail Nation wasn't born around the time you switched from

a leather jacket to a shiny suit a few years ago.

Jackpot! The Las

Vegas Story is the perfect crib sheet for aspiring hipsters and hipstettes

who might be interested in knowing where bands like Combustible Edison and the

Squirrel Nut Zippers got their education. Sure, you can go down to the local

swing club (which probably used to be the local coffee shop, and years before

that, the local disco joint) and act wonderful to the strains of some new,

slick-haired bunch of yahoos plucking upright basses and crooning their hearts

out until the next wave hits, or you can sidle up to a teenage Wayne Newton

sounding like a little girl on his classic, "Danke Schoen."

They're all

here, Vic Damone ("Something's Coming"), Buddy Greco ("The Lady is a Tramp"),

Sammy Davis, Jr. ("I've Gotta Be Me"), Dean Martin ("That's Amore"), Engelbert

Humperdinck ("Release Me (and let me love again)"), Tom Jones ("Delilah") and

eleven others, all doing songs you might recognize, but from names that your

mom can't forget.

One of the cool things about this collection is how it

gives a hilariously kitschy look at this bygone era, especially on one of my

favorite tracks, "Wives and Lovers," by Jack Jones. Over a bouncy beat, Jones

warns, "Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up/ Soon he will open

the door/ Don't think because there's a ring on your finger/ You needn't try

anymore/ For wives should always be lovers too/ Run to his arms the moment he

comes home to you/ I'm warning you/ Day after day there are girls at the

office/ And men will always be men/ Don't send him off with your hair still in

curlers/ You may not see him again." Now get me a chicken pot pie, and clean up

this mess!

As you might expect from the pinkie-ring-wearin', open-shirt

vibe of many of the songs, the female voice is not that well-represented on

this set. The exceptions being Louis Prima & Keely Smith doing "That Old Black

Magic" and Miss Ann-Margret singin' "Begin the Beguine." Don't let that stop

you from diving into campy numbers like Liberace's "Parks & Recreation" mix of

"Cherry Hill Park/Macarthur Park/Echo Park" or Mel Torme's "It's Delovely."

Besides, it's fun to laugh at old people. But don't forget, you'll be one

someday too and when your kids start to think of Bush and Beck as silly

nostalgia acts, it might not be so funny anymore.