In 1987, Steve Wynn sold his Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City to Bally Manufacturing, which changed the name to Bally’s Grand. Some veteran casino entertainers were enlisted to add some star power to the outdoor renaming ceremony: namely, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr.
Sinatra and Lewis — Jersey natives, from Hoboken and Newark, respectively — and Davis sang “The Oldest Established (Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York),” from “Guys and Dolls,” after a few minutes of Rat Pack-style banter, mostly by Lewis. Check it out, below, though if you’re only interested in the music, not the jokes, start around the 5-minute mark.
They also introduced Tony Bennett and Robin Leach, who were sitting in the audience. “Dean (Martin) would have been here, but he’s a test pilot for Seagram’s, and he’s in Cleveland working, tonight,” Lewis told the crowd.
Bally’s Grand subsequently was renamed the Hilton Atlantic City and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, and closed in January of this year. (A different hotel and casino, Bally’s Atlantic City, operates in a different location, as does one named the Golden Nugget).
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.