When interviewing Tony Bennett on this week’s show, Rico mentioned his Dad is a huge fan of the singer’s oeuvre, particularly a little-known gem called “This Funny World.” To which Bennett replied, “Your father has great taste — Believe me, listen to him instead of rock ‘n’ roll.”
So here’re are a few more Bennett track recommendations from the dads behind the DPD (yeah, we roped in Brendan’s dad too — also a fan). We figured Tony would approve. We hope you do too.
Picks from Frank Gagliano
“This Funny World”
Tony is vocally at the top of his game, here. He renders Hart’s elegant lyric about the unfairness in the world gently bitter, but the Bennett sweetness still prevails.
“What Good Does It Do?”
An Arlen-Harburg song, from their musical, “Jamaica.” A song I didn’t know until recently. Tony has fun with the opening line — “The sun is full of liquor” — and gets more despairing
as “love goes bad.” Tony is very good with far-out Harburg rhymes: “tickle us”/”re-dick-alas,” “thrillin’ spell”/”whole mir-a-kell.”
“It Amazes Me!”
A Carolyn Leigh/Cy Coleman song I also was unfamiliar with. Tony stays amazed throughout. And dazzled that someone could love HIM.
“Some Other Time”
My favorite Bernstein/Comden & Green goodbye song, from “On The Town.” Tony and jazz legend Bill Evans weave a somber bittersweet sadness about the passing of time. A classic vocal-jazz recording.
Picks from Francis Newnam
“Because of You”
Anthony Benedetto is Tony Bennett’s real name. He came from Astoria, Queens. He was one of many Italian crooners back then. Perry Como, Vic Damone… His first breakthrough was “Because of You.”
“Rags to Riches”
From 1953… I think. It brings back memories. I was in the service and I was homesick. They had me stationed in Wyoming and all they played was country and western, but every once in a while I would hear a civilized song.
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”
Brendan’s mother and I took one of those tourist cruises around the Bay — it must have 1967 –and they were playing this song through the sound system.
Frank Sinatra said that Tony Bennet was his favorite singer. Now whether he was being political or not I don’t know, but that’s what he said. Bennett’s son is his manager. And his son referred to him as “Tony,” which was unusual for an Italian kid to call his father by his first name.
Bennett had a great career. He did that thing with Lady Gaga or whatever the hell her name is. Yeah, Anthony Benedetto.