The 10 Best Wayne Newton Songs of All-Time (2024)

The 10 Best Wayne Newton Songs of All-Time (1)

In 1958, a Las Vegas booking agent spotted Wayne Newton (who was still in his junior year at high school at the time) and his brothers performing on a local TV show. He signed them up to perform in Vegas for two weeks. The two weeks turned into decades, Newton ended up becoming a breakaway star, and today, “The Midnight Idol” is considered one of the best-known entertainers in Las Vegas history. Here, we look back on some of his finest moments with our pick of the 10 best Wayne Newton songs of all time.

10. I Guess the Lord Must Be In New York City

Kicking off our list of the 10 best Wayne Newton songs of all time is I Guess the Lord Must Be In New York City. The song was written and originally recorded by Harry Nilsson for his fourth studio album, Harry. Shortly after Nilsson hit number 34 on the pop charts with the original, Newton reached number 28 on the US Easy Listening chart with his version.

9. Games That Lovers Play

Games That Lovers Play was composed by legendary composer James Last. In late 1966, a flurry of artists including Eddie Fisher, Mantovani, and Wayne Newton all released their versions of the song simultaneously. Fisher’s did the best commercially, reaching number 2 on the US Easy Listening chart. Newton’s version also proved popular, reaching number 22 on the Easy Listening chart and number 86 on the Billboard 100. Since then, it’s been covered over 100 times by everyone from Connie Francis to Donald Peers.

8. Summer Wind

Summer Wind was originally titled Der Sommerwind and written in German by Heinz Meier and Hans Bradtke. After Johnny Mercer re-wrote it in English, scores of artists covered it, starting with Wayne Newton in 1965. Released as a single from the album of the same name, it reached number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100. A year later, Frank Sinatra came along and took it to number 1 on the Easy Listening chart. Since then, it’s been covered by a veritable army of artists, including Michael Buble, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Barry Manilow, and Willie Nelson.

7. Remember When (We Made These Memories)

Remember When (We Made These Memories) was written by Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder and originally recorded by Newton in 1965. Released as a single from his album Wayne Newton…Now!, it climbed to number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 15 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart. After Newton popularized the song, several other artists released covers, including Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra, Max Bygraves, The King Brothers, and Johnny Mathis.

6. The Little White Cloud that Cried

The Little White Cloud that Cried was written by Johnnie Ray and first released by Ray and The Four Lads in 1951, becoming one of the group’s biggest ever hits when it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Ten years later, Newton and his brothers bought it back to the charts with their version, which hit number 99 in 1961. Other artists who’ve enjoyed success with the song include Vera Lynne, Doris Day, and Chris Issac.

5. The Letter

During an interview with Nashville Now, Newton explained that his inspiration for The Letter came from a discarded note written by Elvis Presley that Newton had purchased at a Sotheby’s auction. According to Wikipedia, Newton received so many requests from Presley’s fans to know what was in the letter, he ended up including a word for word reading of it in the song. On its release, The Letter hit number one on both the Cashbox Pop and Country charts but failed to make it to Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, Adult Contemporary chart, or “Bubbling Under” chart, becoming the first time in history a Cashbox number one failed to make it to the Billboard Hot 100.

4. Years

Years was written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan and first recorded by country singer Barbara Mandrell, who earned her third number one on the country charts with it in December 1979. The following year, Newton covered the song and released it as a standalone single. It reached number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100, simultaneously becoming one of the biggest hits of his career and his last ever entry on the top 40.

3. Red Roses for a Blue Lady

Red Roses for a Blue Lady was written in 1948 by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett and first recorded by John Laurenz, whose version climbed to number 2 in the charts in the spring of 1949. The song, which is sung from the perspective of a man pleading for the forgiveness of his lover after an argument had made her blue, was recorded by numerous artists in the years after, with Newton releasing his version in 1965. As luck would have it, both Vic Dana and Bert Kaempfert also released versions at the same time. Dana’s version proved the biggest hit, coming in at number 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Newton’s version, meanwhile, took him to number 23 on the Hot 100 and number 4 on the Easy Listening chart.

2. Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast

According to Songfacts, Newton took a liking to Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast as he felt its emotional theme, which deals with the breakdown of a marriage from a child’s perspective, would resonate with audiences in Las Vegas. As it turned out, it resonated with more than just Vegas audiences – released in April 1972, it became his biggest ever hit, reaching number one on the Cashbox chart, number 3 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart, and number 4 on the Hot 100. It’s since sold over 1 million copies and earned gold certification in the US.

1. Danke Schoen

Danke Schoen was originally intended for Bobby Darin, but after Darin saw the then 21-year-old Newton perform at the Copacabana nightclub, he handed it over to him instead. Released in June 1963, it took Newton to number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and quickly became known as his signature song. In 1986, it enjoyed a fresh wave of attention when it was used in the film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s since featured in a host of other TV shows and movies, including Meet the Parents, Matchstick Men, Vegas Vacation, and Fools Rush In.

The 10 Best Wayne Newton Songs of All-Time (2024)


What are the top 10 songs of all time? ›

Top 10 songs
1Aretha Franklin"Respect"
2Public Enemy"Fight the Power"
3Sam Cooke"A Change Is Gonna Come"
4Bob Dylan"Like a Rolling Stone"
6 more rows

What is the most played song of all time in the world? ›

There's even a dispute over the exact title. Yet “It's a Small World,” also known as “It's a Small, Small World” and “It's a Small World (After All),” is very likely the most played song in music history — nearly 50 million times.

What made Wayne Newton popular? ›

Newton became a solo performer in the early 1960s and scored such hits as “Danke Schoen” and “Red Roses for a Blue Lady.” For the next several decades, Newton established himself as one of Las Vegas' most popular and highest-paid performers.

How old was Wayne Newton when he started singing? ›

His father worked as a mechanic and his mother stayed home to raise their two children. Both of his parents had Native American roots—Cherokee on his mother's side and Powahatan on his father's side. Newton started his professional singing career at the age of six.

What is the #1 listened to song ever? ›

"Blinding Lights" by the Weeknd is the most streamed song on Spotify, with over 4 billion streams. As of July 2024, "Blinding Lights" (2019) by Canadian singer the Weeknd is the most streamed song on Spotify.

Who has the #1 song of all time? ›

Top 10 songs of all time (1958–2021)
1."Blinding Lights"The Weeknd
2."The Twist"Chubby Checker
3."Smooth"Santana featuring Rob Thomas
4."Mack the Knife"Bobby Darin
6 more rows

What is considered the greatest song of all time? ›

Here's the list's top 10:
  • 1: Aretha Franklin — “Respect”
  • 2: Public Enemy — “Fight The Power”
  • 3: Sam Cooke — “A Change is Gonna Come”
  • 4: Bob Dylan — “Like A Rolling Stone”
  • 5: Nirvana — “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
  • 6: Marvin Gaye — “What's Going On”
  • 7: The Beatles — “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Sep 16, 2021

What is the most successful song of all time? ›

According to Guinness, "White Christmas" sold over 50 million copies. The single is known as the "best-selling single of all time".

Who is the #1 singer in the world? ›

Aside from Taylor Swift, the only other constants in the ranking are Drake and The Weeknd, who have been among the world's best-selling artists in each of the past three years. This chart shows the best-selling global recording artists of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

How many Vegas shows did Wayne Newton do? ›

He performed over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas over a period of over 40 years, earning him the nickname Mr. Las Vegas. His well known songs include 1972's "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast", "Years", and his vocal version of "Red Roses for a Blue Lady". He is best known for his signature song, "Danke Schoen".

How much does Wayne Newton make in Vegas? ›

Newton, 50, was listed as the world's highest-paid entertainer by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1983, and is said to still take in as much as $250,000 a week as a performer in Las Vegas. He has also worked in movies and on television.

Is Wayne Newton still performing? ›

Wayne Newton is currently touring across 1 country and has 48 upcoming concerts.

Does Wayne Newton have a perfect pitch? ›

His father served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Newton spent his early years in Fredericksburg, Virginia, learning the piano, guitar, and steel guitar at age six. He has perfect pitch.

Did Elvis and Wayne Newton ever meet? ›

He also got some life lessons from another Vegas icon. “With Elvis, we really became good friends,” said Newton.

What was Wayne Newton's first big hit? ›

Initially, Newton's act included his older brother Jerry. But he eventually went solo on the back of his first big hit, 1963's "Danke Schoen." Need a break?

Has anyone ever had all top 10 songs? ›

The record then quickly changed hands multiple times: Drake's Certified Lover Boy scored nine top 10 successes in 2021, but was soon eclipsed by Taylor Swift's 2022 album Midnights, which upped the record to 10. Swift repeated the perfect 10 with her 2024 release, The Tortured Poets Department.

Who has the most #1 hits ever? ›

The Beatles have the most No. 1 hits among all acts in the chart's history, with 20.

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