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Tony Bennett (b1926)

During the 1950s,American popular music was taking on a predominantly Italian flavour. The charts were dominated by male singers of Italian heritage including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza,Al Martino, Perry Como, and Jerry Vale. A half century later, all of these artists are gone; either dead or long out of favour with the American record buying public. The one survivor of this genre is Tony Bennett.

Bennett rose to fame in the early 1950s, the calm before the rock’n’roll storm, when Tin Pan Alley and Broadway show tunes still ruled the air waves and jukeboxes of America. Yet, unlike others of his ilk, Bennett had staying power. And despite setbacks due to alcohol and the constantly changing preferences of record buyers and concert goers, Bennett remains today at the top of his game, a venerable and still vital force who will have turned 80 as this CD is being released.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born 3 August 1926 in Astoria, Queens, New York. The son of a grocer, Bennett grew up listening to the top popular singers and entertainers of the day, including Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Bing Crosby. As a self-styled ‘Crosby singer’, Bennett was attracted to songs that told a story. But he was also a fan of jazz, Broadway and classical music, developing a versatility that would carry him through the hard times whenaudiences were changing allegiances as quickly as new songs were hitting the




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