HELLO AMERICA!—Without a doubt Lady Gaga has brought loveable singer Tony Bennett back to life again. My old friend thought he would retire being remembered for “I left My Heart in San Francisco” only, but Gaga has definitely changed that notion.
When I spoke with Tony to congratulate him on his album success with Gaga, he laughed and said, “It’s without a doubt the most fun I’ve ever had in the business. She makes up for the energy I don’t quite have anymore.” However, he did admit that when the idea of teaming up with the “Lady,” he was not sure how it might work out because of her outrageous shows and the just as outrageous costumes she was known for. On that, he pulled out his phone and dialed, to my surprise, Gaga herself.
She quickly let me know that she had loved Tony’s singing all her life. And added that his records were always being played when her mom was preparing dinner or when the family gathered for dinner. “So, I grew up loving his music and the man he is. He was and is such a real gentleman who has had such a positive effect on music and all of us who dreamed of being singers or performers.” Gaga stressed the point that singing with Bennett has given her an opportunity to sing some of the most beloved songs in American musical history.
“Like many millions of other young kids, I used to sit and watch some of the great singers of the day singing these beautiful songs and I would picture myself doing the same,” she admitted. “I loved Doris Day, Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Ginny Simms, all those fantastic people and they influenced the kind of music I enjoyed listening to and what I dreamed of performing myself.”
Tony and Gaga have performed all over the world performing the music the world has learned to respect and love. “And it’s all identified with our country,” Tony said. “It represents certain periods of crisis and the better times as well. The times when we were all forced to pull together to show what Americans are made of. The music was a symbol of hope and the love we have for a better loving and peaceful world. Our music has history and I’m glad that I’m still around to sing about it.”
Bennett didn’t hesitate to note that when he and Lady Gaga sang in countries such as Russia, and many of the European cities, the audience gave them standing ovations because the songs brought back memories of certain special moments in their lives. “You could see it in their faces,” he offered. “Much of what they were feeling and remembering. Without a doubt, music is a very sobering, magical antidote.”
By Michael St. John