Zowie Bowie is Moving On Up to the Palms

Though the Las Vegas Strip is constantly garnering attention for its unique array of entertainment, many may not realize that quite a few shows off the Strip are impressive in their own right. One such under-the-radar success story is that of Zowie Bowie, headliners at the Red Rock Resort and Casino for nearly the past three years. The man-woman duo is quite popular among locals, mixing a Vegas style big band, covers of Top 40 hits, and plenty of audience participation. And now, they’ll be moving their unique show to The Palms on March 6, where The Lounge is being renovated for their arrival.

However, behind Zowie Bowie (not to be confused with the son of David Bowie) is blonde bombshell Marley Taylor, the very tan Chris Phillips, and one interesting story of success born out of a lawsuit.

Marley Taylor is actually the stage name of Christine Gabell. More than ten years ago, Gabell was trying to make it as a songwriter in Nashville. While working for Tree Publishing (part of Sony), she was recording demos and struck up a relationship with an executive at the company, Dan Wilson. However, weeks after the relationship ended, Gabell claimed that Wilson began to harass her, leading the songwriter to talk to the head of the company about her concerns.

As a result, Wilson was fired by the next day and sued everyone involved – including Gabell. And in 1997, a court in Tennessee ruled that Gabell’s conduct led to Wilson’s firing “by virtue of defamatory statements,” and she was ordered to pay him over a million dollars.

Rather than fight the charges, a young Gabell fled, changed her name, and started a new life. She returned to Arizona, where she met Phillips and joined his act. Interestingly, on a first date here in Las Vegas, the two drove past the Palms, which Marley pointed out.

“That’s where I want to go,” the singer had said. Then, according to Taylor, the two went home and put a show together to eventually bring to Vegas. And their climb to the top began.

In the midst of increasing popularity, however, Wilson found Gabell in 2007, despite the fact that the singer had no driver’s license and didn’t exist on paper. As a result, she had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to avoid the $1.5 million court judgment for supposedly defaming her former boss.

Now, however, Taylor and Phillips are engaged to be married and are ready to put the past behind them with a new act at the place where they’d always dreamed of performing. Though they’re grateful to the Red Rock for their success, the duo is looking forward to performing for the younger, more energetic audiences at the Palms.

"It's the perfect fit for what we're trying to do and who we're trying to reach," Phillips said.

"They've got a great local following," Palms owner George Maloof said.

The duo will continue to perform their popular Top 40 show, as well as their vintage Vegas show with a 13-piece big band. And should any other lawsuits come forward, Zowie Bowie will be prepared to handle them this time; the Palms is undoubtedly rewarding them with a handsome multi-million dollar contract.

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