Friday, January 22, 2010

Sounds Like Vegas

It will be a first visit to the City of Second Chances.

Beginning on Monday, TSB will be blogging from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada as part of the 2010 National Conference. The upstart Canadian private sale company will host over 100 franchisees for a three-day conference focused on taking the brand to the next level in terms of sales and market share growth.

There aren't many organizations like this one, rising from humble beginnings in the late 90's to become a Canadian Franchise of the Year and present conferences of this magnitude. Back when they were business students at Atlantic Baptist University, co-founders en LeBlanc and Jeremy Demont could never have imagined the company they started with less than $100 would be making such a splash on the North American stage. - often described as the "rock stars of franchising" will join an elite list at the world-renowned MGM Grand; a venue frequented in the past by a stars such as the Stones, Elton John, Sting, Bette Midler, the Backstreet Boys and countless others. In that sense, it is only appropriate to select Las Vegas as a conference site, a city legendary not only for the dreams it inspires, but for the way musicians are inspired to capture its spirit in song.

In anticipation of the glitz, glamour and a great week ahead, TSB is counting down the Top Five Songs that honor this neon jewel in the Nevada desert. We're talking sounds that define the bright lights a flashin', one-armed bandits a crashin' spin around the musical wheel of life.

Consideration went to Sheryl Crow and her hit "Leaving Las Vegas", as well as Jimmy Ray's "Goin' to Vegas" and the Stones, "Tumblin' Dice". Honorable mentions are accorded to Hootie and the Blowfish for 'Las Vegas Nights', U2 for the way Vegas was portrayed in the video for "Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For" and Faith Hill's "Hey Baby Let's Go To Vegas".

But once the smoke clears and the dust settles, only five "Vegas" type tunes emerge from the pile of pretenders and contenders to rank as champions in this hotly-debated category.

Here they are, in descending order.

5. INXS - "Pretty Vegas"

This was the first single INXS released with their new singer JD Fortune, who wrote the song during the INXS Rockstar show when he competed to become the band's frontman. The Nova Scotia native used to work in Vegas as an Elvis impersonator and his song illuminates the grungy side of Vegas tourists are too starry-eyed and drunk to notice.

4. Frank Sinatra - "Luck be a Lady"

Frankie loved poker and all things gambling. "Luck be a Lady" was his tribute to Vegas where his run ins with Casino bosses were legendary. It was a simpler day in a smaller town with the Sinatra sound; gambling, womanizing, drinking till dawn - and all of it with style.

3. AC/DC - "Sin City"

Taken from the vastly underrated "Powerage" album featuring the late, great Bon Scott. The lyrical appeal alone is something to behold "Diamonds and dust, Poor man last, rich man first, Lamborghinis, caviar, Dry martinis, Shangri-la"

2. Elvis Presley - "Viva Las Vegas"

So good that it has also been covered by the likes of the Dead Kennedys, Johnny Ramone and ZZ Top. The song, of course, has taken on a whole new meaning lately, inspiring the soundtrack for a certain male enhancement pill.

And the Number One, "Sounds Like Vegas" song is ...

1. Bobby Darin - "Mack the Knife"

Forget, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Sammy David Jr., Sinatra and all the other Vegas boozers, cruisers and crooners. This is THE one that has the spirit of Vegas slicing and dicing through your musical membranes.

TSB looks forward to sharing what the music and magic of Vegas inspires when we return on Monday.

"I was born lonely down by the riverside/Learned to spin the fortune wheel and throw dice"
BOB SEGER, "Ramblin, Gamblin' Man"

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