The Independent Community Bankers of America celebrated in true Vegas fashion Wednesday.
A Rat Pack tribute group — including impersonators of Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin — sang and danced across the stage in front of hundreds of community bankers before the first general session of ICBA's annual conference in Las Vegas.
Adding to the feel of a big-time Vegas show, an unseen announcer boomed out the introductions. The performers began with "Luck Be a Lady" followed by solos by each of the crooners.
The actual Rat Pack frequently sold out shows throughout the 1960s with fans descending upon Las Vegas, sometimes sleeping in cars when hotel rooms sold out, in hopes of getting a glimpse of the stars. It's unlikely that any of the bankers in attendance at the ICBA's convention slept outside to see the group, but they were clearly having fun.
When the fake Sinatra mingled with the crowd during his performance of "Fly Me to the Moon," some lucky audience members shook his hand, smiled and laughed.
The Martin lookalike — who was holding a cigarette and a glass containing ice and an amber liquid — belted out "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" and feigned forgetting his lyrics.
And the Davis character, who sported a diamond treble clef on a chain around his neck, rounded out the set by energetically singing "For Once in My Life."
The group reunited on the stage for a finale, during which Martin quipped: "Remember folks, we're dead but you aren't!" The comment jibed with the cautious feeling of revival that has characterized the ICBA conference.
After the performance, Jeff Gerhart, chairman of the ICBA, introduced Martin Gruenberg, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., to give the first big speech of the day.
"That's a tough act to follow," Gruenberg joked.