Niagara Gazette — Dyster said Newton was deserving of a key - the highest honor Niagara Falls could bestow - not only for his work as an entertainer, but for his humanitarian efforts, including USO performances for trips in every major U.S. confrontation since Vietnam and support for organizations like the National Association of Missing and Abused Children.
Jerry Wolfgang from the United Way of Greater Niagara, which helps sponsor the holiday lights on Old Falls Street, also presented Newton with "December Morning," a print by Niagara Falls artist Paul Hanover.
Newton said he's received keys to cities before over the years, but said Dyster was the first to explain the tradition behind it.
"I've received one or two over my career - keys to the city - and I've tried them and they didn't work and I didn't know why. So, now I know the full story and I appreciate that," Newton quipped.
Newton, 70, has been singing, acting and entertaining since age 6. He's considered an icon in Las Vegas and, in addition to his "Mr. Las Vegas" tag, is commonly known as "The Midnight Idol" and "Mr. Entertainment." He is best known for his rendition of the song "Danke Schoen," but has had other hits, including 1972s "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast" and his vocal version of "Red Roses for a Blue Lady."
Wolfgang said he last met with Newton when he helped usher in the annual A Festival of Lights in the Falls back in the 1990s.
Newton said he's impressed by the many changes that have occurred on the American side since then, including improvements on Old Falls Street and Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel itself.
"It's been wonderful," Newton, who is himself Native American, said. "It's great that the Native Americans are giving back to everybody this way, in terms of not only the magnificent hotel, but bringing entertainment in and doing things that help people get away from the doldrums of life right now and find some happiness."