Like some cabaret hopefuls, a fellow originally named Anthony Dominick Benedetto began as a singing waiter in New York, earning $15 per week. Many nightclubs, concert halls, scores of records and over a dozen Grammy Awards later, Tony Bennett’s still going strong, starting May at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and turning 83 this summer. Always a believer in singing the Great American Songbook, even when it meant severing his recording company relationship in the rock era, he persevered. Albums include songbooks of Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington, with other CDs dedicated to classic songs introduced by some of his favorites (and ours) Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Billie Holiday. This down-to-earth performer is also an artist—musically and with a paintbrush. With his career given a resurgence via his manager son Danny and MTV Unplugged endearing/introducing him to a new generation, he remains vital and in love with music and his fans. He left his heart in San Francisco—or with any audience—and in the songs.
Category: Hall of Fame