Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tony Bennett

Judy and I went to see Tony Bennett in concert last night in Galveston. As it happened, I was listening to XM radio's show about '50s pop earlier in the day, the show where they eventually play the top 5 hits of the current week from some year in the past. The year chosen yesterday was 1952, and in this October week in that year, Bennett had a couple of songs in the top 5: "Because of You" and "Cold, Cold Heart." Fifty-four years later, he's still singing. That's what I call sustaining a career.

Bennett might be 80 years old, and his voice might not quite be what it once was, but it's still damned good, and he can still belt it out. He can still hold a note about five times longer than I could, and at one point he even had the mic turned off to sing without amplification, accompanied only by a soft guitar. I wasn't in the top balcony, but I'll bet they could hear him there without any problem.

Bennett sang what you'd expect to hear: "Cold, Cold Heart," "Shadow of Your Smile," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Lots of standards from the American Songbook. Great stuff. He can still swing with the best of them, as he proved in "I've Got Rhythm" and "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing."

The show ran a little over an hour and a half, with no break. Not much talking, just singing. At 80, Bennett has a lot more energy than I do. It was a fine evening.


Anonymous said...

i saw him once in Houston, probably 15 years ago. he was great. you gotta figure he's sold so many records, he can't need the money. he must still travel and perform for the love of it. he lives in hotels, i understand. no permanent home.

Bill said...

Before the concert, Judy said, "Why is he still going on the road?"

After the third standing ovation, I said, "Now do you understand why he's still doing this?"

She grinned and nodded.