Vegas invite for chart-topping pop pensioner

Sammy King, whose song 'Penny Arcade' is bieng used by Glasgow Rangers to raise money for charity. (d13041142)
Sammy King, whose song 'Penny Arcade' is bieng used by Glasgow Rangers to raise money for charity. (d13041142)

A pop music-writing pensioner who penned one of Roy Orbison’s hits has been invited to perform at a top Las Vegas hotel where he will be a special guest at a gala event.

Batley Carr-born Sammy King, 75, wrote the track Penny Arcade in 1968 during a camping trip in Wales and led him to a life rubbing shoulders with some of music’s biggest stars.

In recent years, the song has had somewhat of a revival having been adopted by Glasgow Rangers fans and recorded as a charity single.

It even featured in this year’s blockbuster movie, Trainspotting 2.

Sammy, who lives in Heckmondwike, has now been invited on an all-expenses-paid trip by the North American Rangers Supports Association (NASRA) to perform the hit song at the plush Planet Hollywood hotel on Las Vegas’ main strip next month.

He said: “There are Rangers fans all over the world and they have these big conventions and I’ve been invited a few times but never been.

“I always thought they wanted me to do a full night’s entertainment and I’ve retired from doing that, but it’s only a few numbers.

“I have been to Las Vegas before but I’ve never performed there, I suppose it’s good for the old CV. I have been to America quite a lot and have sung a few songs at Nashville, but Las Vegas is different.”

As a singer and songwriter, Sammy made a career from music and worked with some of the industry’s greats, including Shirley Bassey, Gene Pitney, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and of course, Roy Orbison.

He still receives royalty payments each year for Penny Arcade, but admits he could have had another hit on his hands.

Sammy explained: “I would visit Roy (Orbison) when he stayed at the Black Horse in Clifton and play him songs.

“He said one wasn’t his style but said he would pass it on to Elvis, I’m not sure if he ever did though.”