Saturday, April 05, 2014

Las Vegas, 1970-ish

Everybody loves vintage pictures of Las Vegas; the town was so colorful and fun in the 1950's and 60's.  By the 1970's (and I believe that these are from around 1970), Vegas was somehow less cute, and these photos are not beautiful; but I still found the old signage from the mostly-long-gone casinos to be interesting!

The Thunderbird casino had a pretty cool sign; let's go see the Latin Fire Follies! Or maybe you and your sweetie can go watch "Flower Drum Song". Jack Soo? He was in "Barney Miller"!

The Sahara has some familiar names. Lainie Kazan, Norm Crosby, and over in the Casbah Theater you could see the legendary Duke Ellington.

I get the feeling that the Riviera was mighty proud of the fact that they had Dean Martin performing there! Totie Fields, I think I remember her from The Mike Douglas Show, or maybe Merv Griffin's talk show.

This one's a little bit blurry, but I figured I would include it anyway. There's the "Las Vegas Club" and, across the street, the "Golden Gate".

My goodness, this is one of the most beautiful streets I've ever seen! Why am I always stuck behind a Volkswagen van? There's another sign for the Sahara...

…but I particularly like the old billboard for Taco Bell. Is that a hamburger saying "Taco Bell is a nice place to eat"??


Nanook said...


There's nothing like a series of Las Vegas signage, from back in the day, to put a big smile on your face. They all had such style.

And as for Totie Fields, I have a comedy album of hers in my collection of LP's.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

Major, these are fine shots of the Strip. Since they were taken from inside a moving car, I can imagine the conversation between passenger and driver - "Keep driving Harold, if we stop we could lose all of our money..."

Bill in Denver

Monica said...

It's been a few years since I've been to Las Vegas, but it sure doesn't look as crowded in any of these pictures as it is these days!

I bet that's a Bell Burger on the Taco Bell sign. I remember having those when I was little. Like a taco on a bun.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I agree with you, although these have aren't as appealing as earlier pix might be. 1970 was so ugly, apparently!

Bill, they were driving to one of those famous cheap buffets that I heard about. (The only time I went to a Las Vegas buffet, the food was gross and not very cheap).

Monica, OH YEAH! I remember the Bell Burger! Like a Sloppy Joe. Man, I had forgotten those.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ha, I thought the same thing about that character on the Taco Bell sign, but I was thinking it was called the Bell-Beefer. I could be wrong though....that was a long time ago!

Nancy said...

Awesome pictures today! Las Vegas must have been so great then.

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!, et. al -

TokyoMagic! is correct. It was called the Bell Beefer.

Chuck said...

Actually, you're all correct - it just depends on when this particular photo was taken.

The Bell Burger was marketed from the mid-60's to the mid-70's, when it was superseded by the Bell Beefer, which lasted until the mid- 90's.

Check out and the associated link to the Bell Beefer for more info.

K. Martinez said...

I too remember it as the Bell Beefer. I never even heard it referred to as the Bell Burger until here on GDB today. Interesting.

Major - Totie Fields was on both The Mike Douglas Show and The Merv Griffin show as you thought. She died way too young at the age of 48, as she had a lot of serious health issues towards the last few years of her life. I remember her well from my teenager years, because my mom was really into watching her whenever she was on TV.

Connie Moreno said...


Anonymous said...

Old Vegas, top form. Thanks Major.

Bell Beefers, goofy name, goofy concept. I always thought they were on the menu for people who weren't brave enough to eat a taco. I never ordered one...