Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Ray Bolger in Las Vegas…….1957

Ray Bolger is best remembered as the scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz",

but, that wasn’t his only claim to fame. He was a song and dance man of star quality and his 1948 Broadway performance in the musical “Where’s Charley?” was proof of this. His softshoe rendition of “Once In Love With Amy” was the hit of that show and it became his theme song. 

In 1957 a friend and I drove cross-country from California and we made a brief stop in Las Vegas. When we saw that Ray Bolger was the featured performer at the Hotel Sahara we decided to attend and we were so glad we did. 

Ray was so loose that you’d swear he didn’t have a bone in his entire body. His routine was comical and fast-paced so we were completely unprepared for the finale.  Suddenly Ray stopped and stood as still as a statue in the spotlight. A hush came over the audience and when it was perfectly quiet the orchestra began to play “Once in Love With Amy”. 

Ray had not moved a muscle during this whole time, but now he slipped into his soft-shoe routine while, very softly, singing the words to the lovely song, "Once in Love with Amy." Then he asked us, the audience, to join in and he continued to dance while tossing the lyrics to us one line at a time. We sang along as he danced and I doubt there was a dry eye in the house.

It's one of my favorite memories and, although most everyone will remember Ray Bolger as the timid scarecrow "without a heart" I will always remember him singing to his beloved  Amy at the Hotel Sahara in Las Vegas.


Blogger Linda P. said...

As with all your memories, I loved this.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

So happy you got to experience this moment.
Now if I can get that earworm out of my head:)

8:47 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

I remembered him of course from watching that famous movie he starred in many times even visiting Judy Garland's home in northern Minnesota actually sharing the same first name didn't hurt either. Ray a. K. A. Troutbirder :-)

12:27 PM  

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