Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Best Is Yet to Come

I've been assigned to organize a party this weekend - an 80th birthday party. And my Musical Calendar notified me that today is a special day for the music world - a living legend in the world of music has reached a personal milestone - celebrating 90 years today. 

Tony Bennett singing - 90 years
Tony  Bennett (90)
Tony Bennett started singing for money at age 13 as a singing waiter but really started professionally in the late 1940's after serving in the Army during World War 2. In his career spanning nearly 70 years, he's released over 70 albums. His biggest single of all time and his first Grammy award in 1963 was for I Left My Heart In San Francisco.

A king of collaborations, most of the songs I've featured here are recorded in his Duet collections and you will see the spectrum of the songs he's sung - from Jazz Standards to Pop Hits - songs written by him and songs composed by others. And Tony's 90th birthday is going to be celebrated singing with his dear friends some of whom are featured below - 9 songs for his 90 years. I'm happy to say that I myself have sung many of these songs at competitions as well as performances at birthdays and celebrations where I have entertained. Some great music is available right here for your entertainment. Just plug in your speakers and ENJOY...

1. Rags to Riches: This song was originally recorded by Tony Bennett with Percy Faith and his orchestra in 1953. He's here with Elton John

2. New York State of Mind: Tony Bennett has lived most of his life in New York. Just listening to him and Billy Joel took me back to August of 2008 when I visited The Big Apple with the family. 

3. The Lady Is A Tramp: The New York song that has had a special place for me was by Frank Sinatra (New York New York), who is also attributed with a great version of this song performed by Tony Bennett with Lady Gaga.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga were on tour just last year did an entire series of duet together in the Cheek to Cheek album. If you've been following this blog, their duets have been included on two other posts - American Standard 101 and Their Playing His (Cole Porter) Songs.

4. La Vie En Rose: This song is a repeat on this blog as well, performed earlier by Louis Armstrong in La FĂȘte Nationale on French National Day. This duet is with Canadian singer K D Lang.

5. Don't Get Around Much Anymore: Another Canadian collaboration with the popular Michael BublĂ©. It's not about Tony Bennett. Even at 90, he gets around quite a bit, possibly likely to even tour this year. 

6. On The Sunny Side Of The Street: Going from Canada to the American Country. Tony Bennett has paired up with another legend - Willie Nelson (7 years his junior) on this fantastic rendition. I love this song and is part of my Jazz set in a medley with Pennies from Heaven. 

8. For Once In My Life: 90 years is a long journey, and Tony Bennett has reached out to two (or maybe three generations) with his genre of Traditional Pop Music. He's not just a great singer but a known artist too. He'll be looking back at his whole life and cherish his wonderful years of music. Singing the Stevie Wonder classic alongwith Marc Anthony.

9. The Best Is Yet To Come: He maybe 90 years old, but he promises us that there is lots more. Singing this song with Diana Krall - another great Canadian performer. 

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come - That's what the 90th Birthday collection featuring  Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and others. The show is to be aired on December 20th on NBC is titled. 

“This is a day I’ll never forget as long as I live. To be treated this way at 90 years old, I feel like I’m 19 years old. It’s a wonderful treat. It’s one of the very special things in my whole life,”  

Happy Birthday Tony Bennett

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