By National Today
His First “Grammy Award”
Bennett scores his first Grammy Award for ‘Best Solo Vocal Performance’ and ‘Record of the Year’ for his song ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco.’
Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, was born on August 3, 1926. He is an American jazz singer of traditional pop standards, big band, and show classics. He is also a painter, with paintings on permanent public exhibits in some institutions under his birth name. Bennett’s reputation fell as younger listeners gravitated toward rock music, but by the 1990s, he had recovered thanks to increased exposure and a lauded appearance on M.T.V. Unplugged. We would like to give recognition to this incredible singer today.
Bennett is a jazz and popular music legend who served in the military during W.W.II and then went on to have a career spanning more than half a century. He was born in Astoria, Queens, New York City, and was a student at New York City’s High School of Industrial Arts, but he dropped school to help support his family financially and worked as a singing waiter. He took advantage of the G.I. Bill after serving in the Army infantry during W.W.II and studied singing at the American Theatre Wing.
Pearl Bailey discovered Bennett in 1949 and requested him to open for her performance in Greenwich Village. In 1950, he joined Columbia Records and began working with Mitch Miller, a record producer. Bennett became interested in making jazz recordings in the late 1950s. ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘Chicago’ were featured on his 1958 album “Basie Swings, Bennett Sings,” which he co-wrote with Count Basie. Bennett made a comeback in 1962, releasing a few solo albums. ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ which brought Bennett his first “Grammy Awards” and established it as his hallmark song, captured the public’s interest. Due to a disagreement, Bennett left Columbia Records at the beginning of the 1970s and launched his label, Improv, which was a complete failure.
Bennett’s hiatus from the studio coincided with a period of personal turmoil for the singer. After relocating to Los Angeles, he began abusing cocaine and marijuana, both of which were prevalent in the celebrity party scene. With the help of his oldest son, Danny, who became his manager, Bennett put his personal and professional lives back together. The singer re-signed with Columbia Records, and “The Art of Excellence,” his first studio album in nearly 10 years, was released in 1986. During the 1990s, Bennett released a series of acclaimed tribute albums. He organized a Gala-party in his honor at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles in November 2006. A slew of celebrities delivered live performances for him. Bennett entertained his guests by singing his well-known hits, ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ and ‘What A Good Life.’
Bennett and his first wife, Patricia Beech, met in the early 1950s. The couple got married in 1952. Sadly, it appeared that Beech had issues with Bennett’s alleged affairs, and despite having two children together, D’Andrea ‘Danny’ Bennett and Daegal ‘Dae’ Bennett, the couple separated in 1971. With his second wife, Sandra Grant, whom he married in 1971, Bennett had two more daughters — Joanna Bennett and Antonia Bennett. The couple didn’t last and divorced in 2007. He later wed Susan Crow, his current spouse, in 2007. However, they don’t have any kids together.
WHY WE LOVE TONY BENNETT
He is charitable
In 1999, Bennett founded the Exploring The Arts Foundation. The foundation’s key objective is to use arts education to improve the lives of young people.
He is an activist
In Selma, he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to support the Civil Rights Movement. He is a vocal supporter of equality, nonviolence, and humanitarian causes. He was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and earned the ‘U.N. High Commissioner’ for the Refugees Humanitarian Award.
He is inspirational
For people around the world, Bennett is a true inspiration. “His voice has kept up throughout the years says as much about his talent. I appreciate all he’s done bringing in contemporary artists like Lady Gaga. I think that’s awesome because it introduces the Great American Songbook to a new generation,” Fogleman said.