The Passing Of Tony Bennett Marks The End of an Era -
Tony Bennett live in Melbourne 2012 photo by Ros O'Gorman

Tony Bennett live in Melbourne 2012 photo by Ros O'Gorman

The Passing Of Tony Bennett Marks The End of an Era

by Paul Cashmere on July 22, 2023

in News

Tony Bennett was the last of the original crooners. His passing at age 96 marks the end of an era.

Tony Bennett came from that same era as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Tony (born 1926) was younger than the others. Sinatra was born in 1915 and Crosby in 1903.

Tony Bennett released his first single ‘Because of You’ in 1951. It was a number one hit in both the USA and Australia.

Australia and the USA had Bennett to themselves for the first few years. Tony also had ‘Cold Cold Heart’ (1951, no 1, Aus), ‘Solitaire’ (1951, no 7, Aus), ‘Have A Hood Time’ (1952, no 16, Aus) and ‘Rags To Riches’ (no 1, 1953, Aus) before his first chart hit in the UK ‘Stranger In Paradise’ (1953, no 2 USA, no 1 Aus, no 1 UK)

The Tony Bennett signature tune ‘I Left My heart In San Francisco’ came in 1962 but in its day it wasn’t that big. The song failed to chart in Australia and only reached no 19 in the USA and no 25 in the UK.

Bennett spent much of the 70s and 80s as a club singer but in 1994, the MTV Unplugged album with k.d. lang elevated Bennett to a popularity he had had seen since the 1960s.

In 2001 Tony recorded the album ‘Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues’. The album featured Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, BB King and Bonnie Raitt as well as this duet with Billy Joel.

2006 was the year of the first of two Duets albums putting Tony back at no 3 in the USA. The album featured Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Elvis Costello and the man who was set to inherit the crooner title for the 21st century, Michael Bublé.

‘Duets II’ in 2011 teamed Tony with John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Aretha Franklin as well as this duet with Amy Winehouse, who had recently died just months before the album was released. The Winehouse song ‘Body and Soul’ won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance.

‘Duets II’ also set up Tony with Lady Gaga. Tony and Gaga released ‘Cheek To Cheek’ in 2014. The album reached no 1 in the USA.

Bennett then recorded ‘Love is Here To Stay’ with Diana Krall in 2018.

Bennett followed that with a second Gaga album ‘Love For Sale’ in 2021.

‘Love For Sale’ was the final Tony Bennett recordings.

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