Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Supported by

The Liberace legacy (aired 2006)

AP Photo
Liberace's "Piano Roll Blues" rolled out the carpet at the premier of Las Vegas' new sky-scraper Hotel Riviera on April 21, 1955.

Editor's note: This originally aired in June 2006.

Liberace was a Las Vegas favorite for four decades, beginning with his first performance at the Last Frontier in 1944, to the opening of the Riviera in 1955, until his final performances on the Strip at the Las Vegas Hilton in the early '80s.

Since his death two decades ago, Liberace his legacy lives on in the valley through his foundation for the performing and creative arts, and via the museum that bears his name.

Recently, we took a tour of the Liberace Museum on East Tropicana Avenue. Throughout this conversation, we'll hear some of the sounds from that visit.

The Liberace Museum opened in 1979 and closed in 2010. He was honored in March of this year when a section of Karen Avenue was renamed to Liberace Avenue, and his life and legacy is featured in a new exhibit running through December 2023.

Las Vegas' Nevada State Museum hosts the exhibit "Liberace: Real and Beyond." Through a mix of photos and personal effects, visitors witness Liberace’s life as a young pianist performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1940s, his groundbreaking television career, his love of the church and his mother, and his death in 1987.

Guest: Darin Hollingsworth, executive director, Liberace Foundation

Stay Connected
Dave Berns, now a producer for State of Nevada, recently returned to KNPR after having previously worked for the station from 2005 to 2009.