Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tony Bennett and Aretha Franklin Record First (and Historic) Duet


You’d think this would have happened already. But on Tuesday night, Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett recorded together for the first time in their (respective) heralded careers. Their duet of Michel LeGrand/Alan and Marilyn Bergman‘s  “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?” was produced by the legendary Phil Ramone. It’s going to be part of Bennett’s  duets album, which will be released in September to coincide with his 85th birthday gala at the Metropolitan Opera.

The recording took place at Avatar Studios on West 53rd St. I’m told that the Queen of Soul asked for the air conditioning to be extinguished so her magnificent throat would stay open. Bennett’s side agreed even though the famed crooner wore a suit and tie for the occasion. He didn’t take them off, says a source. Franklin was said to observe at the end of the session: “Tony Bennett left the studio and burst into flames!”

Some other artists rumored for Bennett’s upcoming CD are Lady Gaga, Michael Buble, and Amy Winehouse. Franklin, meantime, is getting ready for a big show at Jones Beach on July 27th.Next week Aretha performs on both the 10am segment of “Today” and on “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

The newly svelte Ms. Franklin has also been sampling New York’s fine cuisine on this trip, with stops at the very best top dining establishments including Le Cirque and La Grenouille.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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