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Tony Bennett - The Ageless Wonder Touring Once Again - Articles Surfing

Tony Bennett has wowed audiences around the world for generations, and this ageless artist continues to perform live. Bennett has had one of the more interesting lives in all of music, and as he approaches his 80th birthday, he shows no signs of slowing down. His style has changed at times, but the classic Tony Bennett sound will live on long after he's sung his last note.

Early Life

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born in Astoria, Queens in New York City on August 3, 1926. His family was part of the working class, as his father was a grocer and his mother a seamstress. Bennett almost immediately fell in love with the art of singing, and by the age of 10 he was already gaining recognition.

This was definitely an interesting age for Bennett. He was chosen to sing in a ceremony headed by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia at the opening of the Triborough Bridge. Bennett also met with tragedy, as his father died suddenly after a lingering illness. This forced Bennett's mother to add to her workload to support the family, and motivated Bennett to help out in any way possible.

Bennett worked odd jobs and attended high school for a time, but he found it difficult to create the opportunity to advance his singing. Therefore, at age 16, he dropped out of school to dedicate himself to helping support his family with more work and to continue to sing. His first 'singing gig' was as a singing waiter in an Italian restaurant in Queens.

When Bennett was 18 in 1944, he was drafted into the US Army, and saw combat action in Europe in World War II. Bennett fought on the front lines and helped push the Germans back across the Rhine River. He also was part of the battalion that liberated a concentration camp near Landsberg, Germany.

Career Beginnings

After his discharge from the Army in 1946, Bennett used the GI Bill to study music at the American Theater Wing, learning the bel canto singing discipline, which would keep his voice in good shape for his entire career. Bennett continued to work as a waiter and to sing when he could, and in 1949 he was discovered by Pearl Bailey. She invited him to open for her show in Greenwich Village.

Bennett did so, but was unaware that Bailey had invited Bob Hope to attend the performance. Hope was impressed with what he saw, and invited Bennett to tour with him. Hope also suggested that Bennett adopt his now-famous name, and his career was on the way up.

The following year, Bennett signed a record deal with Columbia Records and began releasing albums. One of the busiest singers in the business, he released 49 albums that sold millions of copies worldwide over the next 25 years. His style was instantly-recognizable, and his tours were the stuff of legend. As a result, Bennett was looking at a lifetime of commercial success and sold-out shows. However, that was not to be the case.


The mid-1970's were a strange era in American music, as rock and roll, disco and funk were the styles that the public was buying. As a result, Bennett was without a label for a few years, and even started his own record company, which ultimately failed. He was reduced to a recurring stage show in Las Vegas, and became increasingly miserable.

In 1979, Bennett had tax problems and nearly died of a cocaine overdose. He had hit rock bottom, and with the help of his son Danny, he began to pull himself back up into prominence.


Bennett returned to Columbia Records in 1986, and he kept his style instead of trying to adapt to the music themes of the time. As it turns out, the public was ready for a return to music from the past, and Bennett released 17 albums over the next 18 years. These works were classic Bennett - a mix of crooning, blues and jazz that catapulted him back to the top of the sales charts in many locations.

Bennett has come full circle in his life, and anyone who sees him live is not only going to see a legend firsthand, but will also be told the story of an interesting life.

Submitted by:

Jay Nault

By Jay Nault sponsored by http://www.stubhub.com/ . StubHub sells sports tickets, concert tickets: http://www.stubhub.com/concert-tickets/ , theater tickets and more. Please link to this site when using this article.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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