Thinking about Tony BennettJune 26, 2010 at 5:17 AM | Posted in Great People, Music | 2 Comments
Tags: Anthony Maillie, Tony Bennett
I once heard this story about Tony Bennett: he was in England in a mid-size city and had a reservation in the best hotel in town. As he checked in he was told that there had been a mistake and that a bridal party was booked into his suite and would he take another room? He accepted the change. That night, after playing his concert he walked into the hotel and realized that the wedding reception was still going on. He walked up to the bride and groom and asked them if they would like him to sing a song for them. He went up on stage and sang “I Left my Heart in San Francisco.” How great is that!
Tony Bennett, Anthony Benedetto from Astoria, Queens, is one of those singers, like Sinatra, Pavarotti, Callas, Tebaldi, Sarah Vaughn, Judy Collins and Dylan that when you listen to them you wonder why you bother listening to anyone else.
As I write I am listening to “Long Ago and Far Away,” his album recorded in 1958. The LP is from my Uncle Anthony’s collection and sounds, once the crackle recedes from your consciousness, like it was recorded yesterday. No, that is an exageration. Some of the arrangements are now old-fashioned and on the title track, one of the greatest songs of all time, unfortunate. No matter: a master was at work then and due to the greatest of all inventions, the record player, I hear him now as he was 52 years ago.
He still takes to the road, almost 84 now, still singing for he plans no retirement. The greats never do.