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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Love Tony Bennett

I love this story my friend Julie told me.

In the late 40s, her parents (children of Hungarian/Polish immigrants) went to a Cleveland club, probably a nightclub, as our parents did in those days. The joint was basically empty, maybe 5 people. A young, short, skinny Italian man with a big nose came out to sing with a combo. They said he was gracious, funny, warm and had a wonderful voice. He invited those 5 people up towards the band stand.

"I"ll sing just for you folks," he said, with shy charm. He was so wonderful and enjoyable, they wanted him to sing another set. He did. he sang the whole evening even though he really didn't have to. During his breaks, he'd sit at their table, share some drinks and talk to them about this and that. They fell in love with him. Julie's mom claimed all her life that she was his First Fan.

His name was Tony Bennett.

I have seen Tony perform live at the Palace Theater in Cleveland. See the picture? That's exactly what he does the whole time. Smiling away, he made me feel I was one of just a few, not a thousand. Intimate. As though I was at that small nightclub decades ago. What an honor! Seeing TB is like taking a Master Class in how to sing standards. He acts as though he is just having the best time, that there is no place else he'd rather be that evening.

To meet him, even if just for a moment, would be such a thrill. It's on my bucket list. Hey, I met Les Paul, the greatest guitar player who ever lived. Who's to say I couldn't meet Tony Bennett?? Who's to say I might not be able to SING with Tony Bennett. Even in the bathroom, that would too cool for words.

Stranger things have happened.....

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