The entertainer known as Wayne Newton was born in Virginia on April 3, 1942. He knew by a very young age that he wanted to be a performer and was singing at a Grand Ole Opry program by the age of four. He sang on radio programs there at six.
In 1949 his family moved to Newark, Ohio where his father had relatives. The weather in Newark did not agree with young Wayne, who was sickly through this period, so the family moved out to Arizona. When Wayne’s health improved, and since his father could not find employment in Arizona, they moved back to Newark. That autumn, Wayne’s health deteriorated again, so they moved back to Arizona. Wayne had been diagnosed with asthma.
Wayne’s total time spent in Newark during the two occasions was about eighteen months. He attended school at Hartzler Elementary and Central Junior High School. During the summers he and his older brother, Jerry, sang at Hillbilly Park in eastern Licking County as a duo known as the Newton Rascals. They made such an impact with their act that many Licking County people to this day still rave about them and claim them, especially Wayne, as Licking County natives.
- Fleming, Dan and D. Robert Tharp. A History of Licking County, Ohio 1808-2008. Licking County Bicentennial Commission, 2008.
- Newton, Judy. Interview with Dan Fleming, May 2008.
- Newton, Wayne. Once Before I Go. NY: William Morrow and Co., 1989.