Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tony Bennett: Singing America's Songbook At 91

Anthony Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, turns 91 today. After more than sixty years on stage, he still draws huge audiences to his full concert schedule of tunes from jazz, to Broadway, to the Great American Songbook. Bennett has been at the business so long he's had two careers, a fifteen-year affair with the Greatest Generation, and a now thirty-year reinvention with new artists, music, and audiences following a lull during the rock and roll era. Bennett also has been in the forefront of introducing current generations to the Great American Songbook.

Bennett is an interesting blend of vocal talent and showmanship, a well-perfected entertainer with a not so perfect voice. You have to learn how to appreciate the value of a permanent vocal strain and a sound occasionally from the depths of vaudeville. For me, it was a long learning process, but I've come to appreciate and enjoy the total Bennett experience. Here he is performing a jazz standard from the Great American Songbook as a duet with the sensational jazz/pop vocalist, Norah Jones:

We wish Tony Bennett a happy 91st birthday and many years to come in the spotlight. The best is yet to come, so he sings!

If you enjoyed Speak Low, a unique blend of words by Ogden Nash and music by Kurt Weill, buy the music and help keep jazz, swing, and the Great American Songbook alive and well.

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