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Before There Was Vegas, There Was Elko

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Before There Was Vegas, There Was Elko

Before There Was Vegas, There Was Elko

Before There Was Vegas, There Was Elko

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97905050/97905027" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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On Our Soapbox Blog

Elko, Nev., started the big bands and the big shows long before the glitz and glam of Vegas. Today, the Commercial Hotel and Casino is still open in downtown Elko, but the live entertainment is gone except for few diehards making a cacophony of digital slot machine music.

Still, it's tempting to close your eyes and imagine the big bands, the dancers gliding around the floor and Bing Crosby's voice.

Hal Cannon of the Western Folklife Center tells the story of how Elko came to be the hottest casino town in the West.