UPDATE: I’m told that the “Cheek to Cheek” album will be issued on Lady Gaga’s label, Interscope, and not Sony/Columbia, where Tony Bennett has recorded since 1773. That may make this is the first release Tony Bennett has had apart from Columbia Records since the Civil War. But I’m told Sony was gracious about acceding to this request.
Earlier today: All I can tell you is last night Lady Gaga taped a PBS special with Tony Bennett at Rose Hall in the Time Warner Center. Little Steven (Steve van Zandt) and his wife Maureen were there, so was famed writer Gay Talese and his famed book publisher wife Nan. Other guests included Al Roker, plus Gaga’s parents and her grandmothers, plus a room full of people who’d participated in a hush hush lottery.
I can tell you something else: we know Tony Bennett can sing and perform like an angel. He is amazing at almost 88 years old. But Gaga can sing like you won’t believe. After people in the biz see this special she will have offers for “A Star is Born,” Broadway shows, you name it. No meat dresses, no gigantic eggs. Her numerous gowns were elegant and gorgeous. She comported herself on stage like a pro. And the voice! Like Ella Fitzgerald. No kidding.
I can’t be more specific yet about the content of the show. It’s too soon. Suffice to say, it reminded me of a classic special from the early 60s when CBS would present sophisticated variety– like Julie Andrews and Harry Belafonte. Gaga’s “Little Monsters” are going to be downloading the Great American Songbook.
PBS says the special, called “Cheek to Cheek,” will air October 24th from 9 to 10pm. It’s based on their “Cheek to Cheek” album, set for September 24th, just in time for the Grammy deadline. We’ll be seeing a lot of that project on the Grammys come February 2015.
The whole “Cheek to Cheek” project will be a game changer for Lady Gaga. For Tony Bennett, it’s just another day at the office. He is brilliant.