Airdate – Sep 11, 2022
On April 10, 1966, the episode titled ‘Unwritten Commandment’ aired on the #1 ranked TV show, Bonanza.
Featured in this episode were two brothers. The older brother, Jerry, played the Silver Dollar Saloon’s piano player Mike. Jerry’s younger brother, Wayne, played ranch hand Andy.
This was not the first time they had performed together. In fact they began their careers in the early 50s as the Rascals of Rhythm, appearing on Grand Ole Opry roadshows and on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee …
In 1957, as Jerry & Wayne, the two brothers signed with ABC-Paramount. By 1959, still in their teens, they became a popular draw in the Carnival Lounge at the Fremont Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, playing six shows a night six nights a week, starting at 5 pm.
September 29, 1962 saw their debut performance on The Jackie Gleason Show. Wayne would go on to appear on this show 12 times over the next two years.
In 1963, Wayne recorded his first album with Capitol Records. On that album was a song that went to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would become his signature song. Ironically, the song was originally intended for singer Bobby Darin as a follow-up to his hit single “18 Yellow Roses” in the spring of 1963, but after seeing Wayne perform at the Copacabana, Darin decided to give the song to Wayne and transposed the key of the recording to fit his voice. That song was Danke Schoen and that singer was Wayne Newton.
Newton’s brother, Jerry, would go on to have his own lounge act at the Freemont Hotel in 1963.
In 1970, while backing up his brother Wayne on guitar at the Frontier Hotel, it was reported that Jerry Newton almost stole the show with his moving rendition of “Danny Boy” and his reciting of a letter to a mother from her dead soldier son.
In 1959, as the Newton Brothers (Featuring Wayne Newton), the boys cut a single on Capitol whose title probably foreshadowed their success as they became “The Real Thing,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: