Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Happy Birthday Tony Bennett, 94 Years Young Today: Thank You for Flying Us to the Moon


Can it really be four years since Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday dinner at the Rainbow Room? No one who was there has gotten over it!

Today we wish Tony a happy 94th! You can see from his Twitter feed he’s been painting and cooking, and enjoying his quarantine. You know that if things were normal, Tony would be on the road this week, singing his heart out.

I’m looking forward to next year at Radio City, where Mr. Bennett will undoubtedly knock us over for his 95th turn around the planet.

One of my fond memories of Tony and his wife Susan was from a post Emmy Awards party — he’d just won some Emmys, of course — at Disney Hall in Los Angeles. There was a big buffet, and lots of tables. But there were Tony and Susan, eating off paper plates sitting on a visitor’s bench, while thousands of regular people had been catered to. No preening or fawning for Tony Bennett. When I asked if they needed help, Tony just waved at me. “We’re good!”

One of the great things about the last three decades is the rediscovery and revival of Tony’s career. I guess it’s true that nice guys finish last. And we never want him to finish. He survived the Beatles, and 70s rock and disco, rap, punk, New Wave, modern technology. He embraced new artists like Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga with fervor.

And still there’s nothing like just listening to Tony’s buttery rich voice on its own, no duets, just him, flying us to the moon.

Happy Birthday, Tony! And thanks for all the gifts you’ve given us!



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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