I recall the first time heard Tony Bennett perform in concert. I was still in high school and saw that he was appearing in Dallas at Flag Pole Hill near White Rock Lake in East Dallas with the Dallas Symphony. I had little or no knowledge of the iconic singer other than from his standard, I Left My Heart In San Francisco. What struck me that warm July 4th day was the man’s intensity and love for the Great American Songbook. Since that day I have seen Bennett no less than 25 times and look forward to his visits to our city.
Tony Bennett has an amazing background. In World War II he helped liberate prison camps. He had many close calls and actually engaged the forces in house-to-house and city-to-city clean up. It was after the war that Pearl Bailey discovered Bennett and invited him to open for her. That first evening Bob Hope was in the audience and was so taken that he invited Bennett to go on the road with him. Bennett went on to becomes a crooner of pop tunes of the day, and his first big hit was Because of You recorded in 1950, and it reached number one on the charts where it remained for ten weeks selling millions of copies. Continue reading