Thursday, August 03, 2023

Bring the Voice Back Home

Tony Bennett - As Time Goes By

We'll begin the month in full Augusto Robusto, with what woulda been the first birthday, since he passed a few weeks ago, of one of the all-time legendary performers of this or any age.

That's the rub with this guy: he's just capped a career that spanned so many eras and epochs of music, he belongs in that rarified territory we call Timeless.

Can you think of anyone else who had hits with both Judy Garland and Lady Gaga? I'll be here waiting.

When you've been the soundtrack of this many life moments for this many generations, they should start thinking of a Mt. Rushmore of Song just so's they can put you on it.

We know about his association with San Francisco -- I've been right by his statue in Union Square Park many times -- but this was someone whose mastery of The Great American Songbook took him everywhere on the planet, spreading the Good News of Cole Porter, George & Ira Gershwin, and a hundred thousand others.

Born Anthony Benedetto on this day in 1926, he lasted almost 97 years down here, a great deal of which was spent delivering the music he loved all over the Earth to universally adoring audiences.

The man we knew as Tony Bennett is gone now, but his championship of (especially) the songwriters of the pre-Rock era provided a vessel by which those songs and writers will go on into the future and be absorbed by those yet unborn.

Here's a classic, as-yet-never-issued set of him almost 40 years ago, on the venerated stage of a classic New York City venue, doing the thing he did best -- which is saying something, because the guy could paint his ass off too -- in front of an enraptured crowd.

Tony Bennett
Radio City Music Hall
New York City, New York USA

01 Watch What Happens
02 The Gal I Love
03 As Time Goes By
04 It Had to Be You
05 Yesterdays
06 I Got Lost In Her Arms
07 City of the Angels
08 How Do You Keep the Music Playing?
09 What Are You Afraid Of?
10 Moments Like This
11 introduction of Jorge Calandrelli
12 When Love Was All We Had
13 Everybody's Got the Blues
14 Don't Get Around Much Anymore
15 Duke Ellington piano medley
16 It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
17 There'll Be Some Changes Made
18 Just In Time
19 Once Upon a Time
20 One for My Baby (And One for the Road)
21 I Left My Heart In San Francisco
22 All of You
23 When Joanna Loved Me
24 From This Moment On
25 This Is All I Ask
26 outro fanfare

Total time: 1:16:15

Tony Bennett - vocals
Ralph Sharon - piano
Paul Langosch - bass
Joe LaBarbera - drums
with The Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra

1st gen cassette of a master soundboard capture of indeterminate origin
slightly repaired and retracked -- with volume boosted +6 dB throughout -- by EN, July 2023
475 MB FLAC/direct link

Much as I can't think of someone who duetted with more diverse partners than he, I can't think of a better or more appropriate place to see/hear this man than Radio City Music Hall, so y'all are in for a treat if you've never checked out this tape.

Everyone thinks he left his heart in SF, but in all truth he laid it out all over this world, and for this tens of millions are eternally grateful.

I'll go figure out the rest of August now, but before I did I thought it would be Right On to swing one more time with Tony Bennett, as close to a human jukebox as will ever live!--J.

8.3.1926 - 7.21.2023

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