From 1940 to 1989, nearly every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip employed a full-time band or orchestra. After the late 1980s, when control of the casinos changed hands from independent owners to corporations, almost all of these musicians found themselves unemployed. Played Out on the Strip traces this major shift in the music industry through extensive interviews with former musicians. In 1989, these soon-to-be unemployed musicians went on strike. Janis McKay charts the factors behind this strike, which was precipitated by several corporate hotel owners moving to replace live musicians with synthesizers and taped music, a strategic decision made in order to save money. The results of this transitional period in Las Vegas history were both long-lasting and far-reaching for the entertainment industry. With its numerous oral history interviews and personal perspectives from the era, this book will appeal to readers interested in Las Vegas history, music history, and labor issues.
“The book is unique and it tells a story that is vital to the history of Las Vegas and entertainment.” —Michael S. Green, author of Nevada: A History of the Silver State
"Played Out on the Strip is crisply and vividly written and the anecdotes provide a personal and highly entertaining touch. It is a wonderful story of this heretofore unchronicled niche in the music industry and a good read for those with an interest in the entertainment industry." —Journal of Sigma Alpha Iota