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Genre: Adult Contemporary
Price: Under $400,000
Availability: Generally Availability
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
Tony Bennett’s future as one of music’s most cherished vocalist was sealed when he was just a young man. Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in Astoria, Queens in New York City, Tony Bennett grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Joe Venuti. After dropping out of school at the age of sixteen to help support his family, Tony Bennett found himself n the US Army for a brief period of time before studying as a vocalist.
Tony Bennett was signed to Columbia Records in 1950, and “Because of Your” became his first hit in 1951. A string of incredibly successful hits followed for the next several years, including “Rags to Riches” and “Stranger in Paradise.” In the decade of the 1950’s alone, Tony Bennett released eight songs that found a home on the Billboard Top 40. Tony Bennett launched The Tony Bennett Show in 1956, and in the year following, released Beat of My Heart, his first jazz album. In 1962, Tony Bennett’s iconic single “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” was released, garnering him Grammies for Best Male Solo Vocal Performance and Record of the Year.
It would seem that Tony Bennett’s style should have resulted in a natural dissolution of his popularity by the 1980’s, as punk rock, new wave, and disco created a demand for a completely different sound. But his son, Danny Bennett, knew differently. Convinced that younger audiences would respond favorably to his father’s music if only they had the opportunity to hear it, Danny Bennett encouraged his father to schedule numerous appearances on late night television and a variety of MTV programs and sitcom series, such as The Simpsons. And, as it turned out, Danny was right; Tony Bennett enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity with a whole new generation.
As such, Tony Bennett released Portrait of the Artist in 1990, Perfectly Frank (an homage to Sinatra) in 1992, and Steppin’ Out (a tribute to Fred Astaire) in 1993. Steppin’ and Astaire both won Grammies for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and went gold. An appearance by Tony Bennett on MTV’s Unplugged in 1994, with guest appearances by K.D. Lang and Elvis Costello, launched the accompanying album that also received a Grammy for Album of the Year.
Now into his 90’s, Tony Bennett continues to perform and record with little signs of slowing down. His Grammy-winning collaborative album Cheek to Cheek (with Lady Gaga) kicked off the Cheek to Cheek Tour in 2014, and in the year following he released the album The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern. In addition to his active music career, Bennett has also authored five books, including a memoir, an autobiography, and his own musings on life and philosophy.
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