Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett and Richard Adler!

I have a simple life. I mean, you just give me a drum roll, they announce my name, and I come out and sing. In my job I have a contract that says I'm a singer. So I sing.
Tony Bennett


Happy Birthday, Tony Bennett and Richard Adler!

Today we celebrate two icons, legendary icons, in music! One is VERY well known...the other is known for his music, particularly two hit musicals. The lyricist, composer who's birthday we are celebrating also wrote one of our celebrated singer's biggest hit songs. Read on and enjoy what I have to share with you today!

Can you believe Tony Bennett is 85 years old today? Tony has always been a part of my life. At least musically!


I found a great blog this morning celebrating Tony Bennett.
It begins: I've been in a really Tony Bennett kind of a mood so I'm posting this- born Anthony Dominick Benedetto on August 3, 1926 in Queens, New York, Tony Bennett is among the greatest singers of all time. Last May I asked my mom to bring me to a Don Rickles show or Tony Bennett concert..luckily Tony was playing at Harrahs, and needless to say my sister and me were the youngest people there. There was a middle aged couple next to us who thought they'd be the youngest then they asked my age...A guy at the concession booth thing asked me if I really liked him "...yea, I do alot..", get this he goes Name Two of his songs LOL Ooook...


I don't know how young this person is who wrote this blog, but obviously it proves that Tony Bennett crosses many generations.
Thank you, Mr. Bennett! Your gifts have made ALL of our lives a little better!

Raised in New York City, Bennett began singing at an early age. He fought in the final stages of World War II as an infantryman with the U.S. Army in the European Theatre. Afterwards, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records, and had his first number one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Several top hits such as "Rags to Riches" followed in the early 1950s.

Bennett then further refined his approach to encompass jazz singing.
He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings.
In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco".
His career and his personal life then suffered an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era.

Bennett staged a remarkable comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his audience to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact. He remains a popular and critically praised recording artist and concert performer in the 2000s. Bennett has won fifteen Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards, been named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Bennett is also a serious and accomplished painter, creating works under the name Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions.
He is also the founder of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens.



Tony Bennett - The Ultimate Tony Bennett [Audio CD] by Tony Bennett

THE GOOD LIFE

Tony Bennett Reveals Track Listing for ‘Duets’ Album





Christina Aguilera & Tony Bennett - Steppin Out by babymilkiss
By Tony Bennett, Will Friedwald

Today is also the birthday of Richard Adler! (born August 3, 1921) an American lyricist, composer and producer of several Broadway shows.

Born in New York City, Adler had a musical upbringing, his father being a concert pianist. After serving in the Navy he began his career as a lyricist, teaming up with Jerry Ross in 1950. As a duo they worked in tandem, both taking credit for lyrics and music.

After establishing their partnership, Adler and Ross quickly became proteges of composer/lyricist/publisher Frank Loesser. Their first notable composition was the song Rags to Riches, which was recorded by Tony Bennett and reached number 1 on the charts in late 1953.
The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. It features a score by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where worker demands for a seven-and-a-half cents raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.
Adler and Ross's The Pajama Game, opened in May 1954 and was a popular as well as a critical success, winning Tony Awards as well as the Donaldson Award and the Variety Drama Critics Award. Three songs from the show were covered by popular artists and made the upper reaches of the US Hit Parade: Patti Page's version of "Steam Heat" reached #9; Archie Bleyer took "Hernando's Hideaway" to #2; and Rosemary Clooney's recording of "Hey There" made it to #1. But here is my favorite version:


The principal cast of the Broadway musical repeated their roles for the movie, with the exception of Janis Paige, who was replaced by Doris Day.


Sid (John Raitt) has just been hired as superintendent of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He soon falls for Babe (Doris Day), a worker in the factory and member of the employee union's leadership. At the company picnic they become a couple, but Babe worries that their roles in management and labor will drive them apart. She is correct. The union is pushing for a raise of seven-and-one-half cents per hour to bring them in line with the industry standard, but the factory's manager is giving them a runaround. In retaliation, the workers pull a slow-down and deliberately foul up the pajamas, but when Babe actually sabotages some machinery, Sid fires her.



Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball. The musical is based on Wallop's novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.

Happy Birthday to Two wonderful men who will be entertaining beyond their physical lifetimes! Thank you both!!

"If I have offended one person, I have offended one person too many" Here's to an INCREDIBLE weekend for ALL!


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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED AUGUST!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

1 comment:

  1. I have a complete and accurate discography of all singles released by Mr. Bennett during his first run (1950-72) with Columbia Records. This data I have compiled came directly from the archives of Sony Music which now owns Columbia, where I did research over a period of four years in the 1990's. The information includes: original release dates of 78's and 45's by catalogue number, matrix numbers for both 78 and 45 speeds (Columbia had different criteria for each speed), and recording dates for each side. If anyone is interested in obtaining any or all of this data for a minimal fee or stipend, please contact me (or have them contact me) at: wmbrown6@earthlink.net

    I have also written and published a comprehensive discography on every pop single released on Columbia Records between 1939 and 1974 - of which Mr. Bennett's first run with the label is a part.

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