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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 14 - "HE'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE"" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "MORE TONY'S GREATEST HITS" By TONY BENNETT (Columbia, 1960) IN HIGH DEFINITION

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL

EPISODE 40: MORE TONY’S GREATEST HITS by Tony Bennett (Columbia, 1960)

“HE’S ALWAYS BEEN THERE

It seems like he’s always been here, and always will be. His eternal grace, that phrasing, that relaxed mastery of execution. He is one of the last remaining avatars of the Great American Songbook, and forever young. But wait…

We hear that Tony is ailing with Alzheimer’s, and although he can still swing – because, for some reason, the gift of music persists, bunkered somewhere safe from the minefields of the deteriorating brain. But all things must pass, and, at 94 years, Anthony Bennedetto’s internal clock seems to be running down.

We thought he’d always be crooning for us. We nodded our heads in appreciation as he, at ninety, sang flirty duets with Lady Gaga and made us all feel warm, safe, and secure from the indignities of old age.But, like all things made manifest during this hellish limbo of the pandemic, the idea of immunity is no longer a sustainable delusion. But, then again, there is the solace of the 8 tracks…

This cart represents Tony’s output from the earlier phase of his career – (or, perhaps careerS would be more appropriate) – because the time that this collection represents showcases Tony as he was riding the crest of the first wave of hits that would culminate with I Left My Heart in San Francisco in 1962. On this tape you’ll find the familiar Rags to Riches and Hank William’s Cold Cold Heart, two giant smashes for him.

But, it was after that initial wave had subsided, after his struggles with cocaine addiction, and after contemplating retirement, that a 180 occurred. With the help of his son/manager Danny, Tony Bennett reinvented his image and began that sublime period of small combo intimacy – and achieved modern jazz perfection.

For those who know that late-period Tony Bennett, these bombastic clarion calls will be a revelation. Behold the power and the glory of those magnificent pipes!


By Rich Buckland 06/13/2021 08:10 PM

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