Tony Bennett: An American Classic


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Tony Bennett: An American Classic

To mark the crooner's 80th birthday in 2006, a musical journey of Tony Bennett's life, re-creating the seminal venues of his career from 52nd Street swing clubs to MTV Unplugged.


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PIANO PLAYS SOFTLY

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# Smile though your heart is aching

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# Smile even though it's breaking

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# When there are clouds in the sky

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# You'll get by

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# If you smile through your fears and sorrow

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# Smile and maybe tomorrow

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# You'll see the sun come shining through

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# For you... #

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-BARBRA STREISAND:

-# When you light up your face with gladness

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# Hide every trace of sadness

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# Although a tear

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# May be ever so near

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# That's the time

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# You must keep on trying

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# Smile

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# What's the use of crying?

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# You'll find that life

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# Life is still worthwhile

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# If you just smile

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# Light up your face with gladness

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# And hide

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# Every little trace of sadness

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# Although a tear

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# May be ever so near

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# That's the time

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# You must keep on trying

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# Smile

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# What's the use of crying?

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# You'll find

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# That life is still worthwhile

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# If you just smile. #

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PIANO PLAYS SOFTLY

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DOUBLE BASS PLAYS

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# I got rhythm, I got music

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# I got my gal Who could ask for anything more?

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# I got daisies in green pastures

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# I got my gal Who could ask for anything more?

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# Old man trouble I don't mind him

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# You won't find him round my door

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# I got starlight I got sweet dreams

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# I got rhythm Who could ask for anything more?

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# Who could ask for anything more? #

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JAZZ PIANO

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PERCUSSION

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# Old man trouble I don't mind him

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# You won't find him round my door

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# I got starlight I got sweet dreams

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# I got rhythm Who could ask for anything more?

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# Who could ask for anything more? #

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PERCUSSION

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# I got rhythm Who could ask for anything more?

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# Who could ask for anything more? #

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HE SKATS

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You don't wake up one day and say,

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"Hey, I'm Tony Bennett." It has to start somewhere.

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As a teenager, Anthony Dominick Benedetto would hop the subway,

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which cost a dime at the time,

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and travel from his hometown of Astoria, Queens, into New York City.

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He'd get off at 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue,

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Swing Street as it was known.

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It was the centre of jazz in this country.

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There were 38 clubs on two city blocks.

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The names of the clubs are right out of a Damon Runyon novel,

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names like the Blue Note, the Onyx, the Three Deuces

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and the club that I went to when I was a kid cos my dad produced the jazz shows there - Jimmy Ryan's.

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As a teenager, young Anthony, who would, of course, change his name

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to Kirk Douglas - first - and then since someone had it,

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became Tony Bennett.

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He'd stand at the back of these clubs and watch the great jazz players play

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and he would study them like a musician.

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He'd listen to the way Miles Davis would squeeze a note out of his trumpet

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or the way that Art Tatum would create an unpredictable phrase

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or the way that Lester Young would soulfully play a rift.

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And he said to himself, "If I could sing like that, maybe I'd be unique, maybe I'd be something special."

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And around 3am, the musicians would stop playing for the patrons

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and they'd start playing for each other.

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Sometimes these shows would go on till dawn.

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JAZZ MUSIC PLAYS

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Brothers!

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Sisters!

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# Listen to what we say

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# Moaning and groaning won't drive those blues away

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# Lift up your voices in song

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# You know you've all done wrong You sinners

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# Drop everything

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# Let the harmony ring

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# Up to Heaven

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# Sing, you sinners

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# Just wave your arms all about

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# Let the Lord hear you shout

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# Pour the music right out

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# Sing, you sinners

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# Whenever there's music

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# The devil kicks

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# He don't allow music

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# By the River Styx

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# You're wicked and you're depraved

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# And you all misbehave

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# If you wanna be saved

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# Sing, you sinners. #

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We've been asking everybody to sing

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but if you don't feel like singing, come on - dance!

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HE SKATS

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# Oh, swing, swing, swing Swing, you sinners

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# Whenever there's music

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# The devil kicks

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# Oh, he don't allow music

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# By the River Styx

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# You're wicked and you're depraved

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# And you all misbehave

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# So if you wanna be saved

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# If you wanna be saved

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# Sing, you sinners. #

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HE SKATS

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AUDIENCE APPLAUDS

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In the spring of 1950,

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Tony Bennett officially became a signed artist with Columbia Records.

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But Columbia wasn't too happy with its newest boy singer.

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His latest single "Our Lady Of Fatima"

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wasn't exactly eating up the charts.

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Tony knew if he didn't get a bona fide hit

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he'd be dropped from the label.

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His arranger Percy Faith told him, "I've got just the song."

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When it was released, "Because Of You" failed to cause a stir.

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But then something remarkable happened.

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People found it on jukeboxes.

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They started playing it,

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all across the nation, a nickel at a time.

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The record made the Billboard Charts and stayed there for 32 weeks.

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Was Columbia happy?

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Before the year's end,

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Tony was back in their studio recording 15 new songs.

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-MAN:

-OK, let's try another.

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This is Tony Bennett, kd lang, Chris Botti - "Because Of You".

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STRINGS PLAY

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# Because of you

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# There's a song in my heart

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# Because of you

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# My romance had its start

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# Because of you

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# The sun will shine

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# The moon and stars will say that you are mine

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# For ever

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# And never to part

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# I only live

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# For your love and your kiss

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# It's paradise

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# To be near you like this

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# Because of you

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# My life is now worthwhile

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-# And I can

-smile

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# Because of you. #

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TRUMPET PLAYS MELODY SOFTLY

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# I only live

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# For your love and your kiss

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# It's paradise

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# To be near you like this

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# Because of you

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# My life is now worthwhile

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# And I can smile

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# Because of you. #

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That's great. We got it.

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Tony Bennett Show, episode 4, take 1.

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APPLAUSE

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Live from Hollywood - it's the Tony Bennett Show!

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Brought to you by Target.

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Special guests - Diana Krall and Juanes.

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ORCHESTRA PLAYS

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DOUBLE BASS PLAYS

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# Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum... #

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AUDIENCE APPLAUDS

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# You came along and everything started to hum

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# Still, it's a real good bet

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# The best is yet to come... #

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AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS

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# The best is yet to come And, babe, won't it be fine?

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# You think you've seen the sun But you ain't seen it shine

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# Wait till the warm-up's underway

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# Wait till our lips have met

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# Wait till you see that sunshine day

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# You ain't seen nothin' yet

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# The best is yet to come And, babe, won't that be fine?

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# The best is yet to come

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# The best is yet to come Come the day you're mine

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# Come the day you're mine

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# I'm gonna teach you to fly

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# We've only tasted the wine

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# We're gonna drain the cup dry

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# Wait till your charms are right for these arms to surround

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# Ba-da-di-do

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# You think you've flown before but you ain't left the ground

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# Wait till you're locked in my embrace

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# Wait till I draw you near

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# Wait till you find that sunshine place

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# Ain't nothin' like it here

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# The best is yet to come And, Tony, won't it be fine?

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# Yeah, the best is yet to come Come the day you're mine. #

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ORCHESTRA PLAYS

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# Wait till your charms are right for these arms to surround

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# You think you've flown before But you ain't left the ground

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# Wait till you're locked in my embrace

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# Wait till I draw you near

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# Wait till you see that sunshine place

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# Ain't nothing like it here

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# The best is yet to come And, babe, won't that be fine?

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# The best is yet to come

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# The best is yet to come Come the day you're mine

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# Come the day you're mine

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# Come the day you're mine

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# Come the day you're mine. #

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APPLAUSE

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WOODWIND PLAYS SOFTLY

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STRINGS JOIN IN

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# The shadow of your smile

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# When you are gone

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# Will colour all my dreams

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# And light the dawn

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# Look into my eyes

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# My love

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# And see

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# All the lovely things You are to me

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# Our wistful little star

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# Was far too high

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# A teardrop kissed your lips

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# And so did I

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# Now when I remember spring

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# All the joy that love can bring

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# I will be remembering

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# The shadow of your smile. #

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# Laralaralara

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# Laralara... #

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HE SINGS IN SPANISH

0:21:050:21:09

SINGS IN SPANISH

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APPLAUSE

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The 1960s, if you turned on your television set,

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chances are you'd see Tony Bennett singing a medley with Judy Garland

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and appearing on the very first episode of the Tonight show with Johnny Carson.

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If you wanted to catch Tony live, the place to go was Vegas.

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He worked all the big hotels -

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Sands, Dunes,

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Caesar's Palace and the Sahara,

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the jewel of the desert.

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He played to the Rat Pack

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and if you wanted to post a note to Sammy, Frank or Dean,

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all you had to do was write Sahara on the envelope and more often than not they'd get it.

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For much of that decade, it was Tony's second home.

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"If you played Vegas," he once said, "you knew you were famous."

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APPLAUSE

0:24:080:24:10

# I know I'd go from rags to riches

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# If you would only say you cared

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# Though my pockets may be empty

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# I'd be a millionaire... #

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Just like Elton!

0:24:370:24:38

LAUGHTER

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# My clothes may still be torn and tattered

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# But in my heart I'd still be king

0:24:460:24:51

# Your love is all that ever mattered

0:24:510:24:56

# It's everything

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# So open your arms

0:25:050:25:10

# And you'll open the door

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# To every treasure that I'm hoping for

0:25:130:25:18

# Hold me and kiss me

0:25:180:25:22

# And tell me you're mine evermore

0:25:230:25:27

# Must I for ever be a beggar

0:25:290:25:33

# Whose golden dreams will not come true

0:25:350:25:40

# Or will I go from rags to riches?

0:25:400:25:45

# My fate is up to you. #

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ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:25:520:25:54

-# Must I for ever be a beggar... #

-LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:26:050:26:10

# Whose golden dreams will not come true

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# Or, Tony Bennett, will I go from rags to riches?

0:26:160:26:22

# My fate is up to you. #

0:26:230:26:31

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:26:310:26:33

-Ladies and gentlemen, Elton John.

-CHEERING

0:26:330:26:38

ORCHESTRA STRIKES UP

0:26:390:26:41

# Dee, dee, dee, dee, dee, dee

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# Just in time I found you just in time... #

0:26:530:26:56

Michael Buble.

0:26:560:26:58

APPLAUSE

0:26:580:26:59

# Before you came My time

0:26:590:27:02

# Was running low... #

0:27:020:27:04

Swing it, Tony.

0:27:040:27:07

# I was lost

0:27:070:27:09

# The losing dice were tossed

0:27:090:27:12

# My bridges all were crossed

0:27:120:27:16

# Nowhere to go

0:27:160:27:19

# And now you're here

0:27:200:27:23

# And now I know just where I'm going

0:27:230:27:27

# No more doubt or fear

0:27:270:27:30

# I found my way

0:27:300:27:33

# For love came just in time

0:27:340:27:37

# You found us just in time

0:27:370:27:41

# And changed our lonely life That lovely day. #

0:27:410:27:48

ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:27:480:27:51

AUDIENCE CHEERS

0:27:510:27:53

# Oh, we were lost

0:28:020:28:05

# The losing dice were tossed

0:28:050:28:09

# Our bridges all were crossed

0:28:090:28:12

# And nowhere to go

0:28:120:28:17

# Well, now we're here

0:28:170:28:20

# And now we know just where we're going

0:28:200:28:24

# No more doubt or fear

0:28:240:28:26

# We've found our way

0:28:260:28:29

# For love came just in time

0:28:290:28:33

# We found you just in time

0:28:330:28:37

# You changed our lonely life That lovely day

0:28:370:28:44

# Changed our lonely life That lovely day. #

0:28:440:28:52

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:28:560:28:59

ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:29:140:29:16

# For once in my life

0:29:220:29:26

# I have someone who needs me

0:29:260:29:29

# Someone I've needed so long

0:29:300:29:35

# For once unafraid

0:29:370:29:40

# I can go where life leads me

0:29:400:29:44

# And somehow I know I'll be strong

0:29:440:29:49

# For once I can touch

0:29:500:29:53

# What my heart used to dream of

0:29:530:29:57

# Long before I knew

0:29:580:30:03

# Someone warm like you

0:30:050:30:10

# Could make my dreams come true

0:30:110:30:16

# For once in my life

0:30:160:30:19

# I won't let sorrow hurt me

0:30:210:30:24

# Not like it's hurt me before

0:30:240:30:29

# For once I have someone

0:30:310:30:35

# I know won't desert me

0:30:350:30:39

# I'm not alone any more

0:30:390:30:44

# For once I can say

0:30:440:30:49

# This is mine, you can't take it

0:30:490:30:51

# As long as I know I have love I can make it

0:30:520:30:59

# For once in my life

0:30:590:31:03

# I have someone who needs me. #

0:31:030:31:09

HARMONICA

0:31:090:31:11

HE PLAYS "I Left My Heart In San Francisco"

0:31:240:31:28

BACK TO "For Once In My Life"

0:31:280:31:31

# For once I can say

0:31:320:31:35

# This is mine, you can't take it

0:31:350:31:39

# As long as I know I have love I can make it

0:31:390:31:46

# For once in my life

0:31:460:31:50

# I have someone

0:31:500:31:55

# Who needs me

0:31:550:32:00

# For once in my life

0:32:000:32:02

# For once in my life

0:32:020:32:03

# For once in my life

0:32:030:32:05

# I have someone

0:32:050:32:09

# Who needs me. #

0:32:090:32:17

Stevie Wonderful!

0:32:170:32:20

The great Tony Bennett.

0:32:200:32:22

-Happy Birthday!

-Thank you.

0:32:220:32:24

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:32:240:32:27

Describing his Carnegie Hall debut, Tony said,

0:32:310:32:34

"I put everything I'd been studying for the last 20 years into that show."

0:32:340:32:38

To a musician, playing Carnegie Hall is like crowning Everest

0:32:380:32:42

or planting a flag on the moon. When Tony finally got there,

0:32:420:32:45

it was a natural fit. Years later, when pop was eclipsed by rock'n'roll,

0:32:450:32:50

Tony's refusal to conform to the fads of the day would pay off

0:32:500:32:54

and land him in the hippest venue of them all, the soundstages of MTV.

0:32:540:32:58

In 1993, his appearance during the MTV music awards

0:32:580:33:02

with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers caused a sensation.

0:33:020:33:06

As a result, MTV Unplugged asked Tony to shoot an episode.

0:33:060:33:10

The show was a smash hit. Tony Bennett not only bridged the generation gap,

0:33:100:33:15

he demolished it.

0:33:150:33:17

The resulting album became Tony's biggest ever

0:33:170:33:20

and at the GRAMMYs he picked up Album of the Year,

0:33:200:33:22

proof that fashion is a habit but art...

0:33:220:33:26

art lasts for ever.

0:33:260:33:28

AUDIENCE CHEERS

0:33:290:33:31

ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:33:310:33:33

APPLAUSE

0:34:220:34:24

# Steppin' out with my baby

0:34:240:34:27

# Can't go wrong cos I'm in right

0:34:270:34:29

# It's for sure, not for maybe

0:34:290:34:31

# That I'm all dressed up tonight. #

0:34:310:34:33

AUDIENCE CHEERS

0:34:350:34:37

# Steppin' out with my honey

0:34:380:34:41

# Can't be bad to feel so good

0:34:410:34:43

# Never felt quite so sunny

0:34:430:34:45

# And I keep on knockin' wood

0:34:450:34:48

# There'll be smooth sailin' Cos I'm trimmin' my sails

0:34:480:34:51

# With my top hat, my white tie and my tails

0:34:510:34:55

# I'm steppin' out with my baby

0:34:550:34:59

# Can't go wrong cos I'm in right

0:34:590:35:01

# Ask me when will that day be

0:35:010:35:04

# The big day may be tonight. #

0:35:040:35:05

PERCUSSION

0:35:050:35:08

DOUBLE BASS

0:35:080:35:10

# If I seem to scintillate

0:35:120:35:15

# It's because I've got a date

0:35:150:35:17

# A date with a package of

0:35:170:35:20

# The good things that come with love

0:35:200:35:22

# You don't have to ask me

0:35:220:35:24

# I won't waste your time

0:35:240:35:27

# But if you should ask me

0:35:270:35:29

# Why I feel sublime. #

0:35:290:35:31

ORCHESTRA PLAYS

0:35:310:35:34

# There'll be smooth sailin' Cos I'm trimmin' my sails

0:35:490:35:54

# In my top hat and my white tie and my tails, yeah

0:35:540:35:58

# I'm steppin' out with my baby

0:35:580:36:01

# Can't go wrong cos I'm in right

0:36:010:36:03

# Ask me when will that day be

0:36:030:36:06

# The big day may be tonight. #

0:36:060:36:15

What a night!

0:36:150:36:17

AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS

0:36:170:36:19

This year, Tony Bennett celebrates his 80th birthday.

0:36:290:36:32

Over the course of his lifetime, he's been awarded many times over.

0:36:320:36:37

But if you ask Tony about the greatest compliment he's ever been paid

0:36:370:36:41

he'll tell you about the quote that appeared in Life magazine.

0:36:410:36:44

When his hero Frank Sinatra said these words over 40 years ago,

0:36:440:36:48

he couldn't have known how much they'd mean to Tony.

0:36:480:36:51

Frank said, "For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business.

0:36:510:36:56

"He moves me.

0:36:560:36:58

"He's the singer who gets across what the composer had in mind

0:36:580:37:02

"and probably a little more."

0:37:020:37:04

PIANO TRILLS

0:37:080:37:09

# The loveliness of Paris

0:37:090:37:13

# Seems somehow sadly gay

0:37:130:37:17

# The glory that was Rome

0:37:170:37:21

# Is of another day

0:37:210:37:24

# I was terribly alone

0:37:250:37:27

# And forgotten in Manhattan

0:37:270:37:30

# I'm going home

0:37:300:37:34

# To my city by the bay

0:37:340:37:40

# I left my heart

0:37:410:37:46

# In San Francisco

0:37:470:37:51

# High on a hill

0:37:520:37:55

# It calls to me

0:37:560:38:00

# To be where little cable cars

0:38:010:38:07

# Climb halfway to the stars

0:38:080:38:12

# The morning fog

0:38:130:38:17

# May chill the air

0:38:170:38:20

# I don't care

0:38:210:38:23

# My love waits there

0:38:230:38:28

# In San Francisco

0:38:280:38:33

# Above the blue

0:38:340:38:38

# And windy sea

0:38:380:38:42

# When I come home to you

0:38:420:38:47

# San Francisco

0:38:470:38:51

# Your golden sun will shine for me. #

0:38:520:39:02

PIANO PLAYS

0:39:020:39:04

# When I come home to you

0:40:120:40:17

# San Francisco

0:40:170:40:20

# Your golden sun

0:40:210:40:25

# Will shine for me. #

0:40:250:40:37

Thank you, Tony. Beautiful.

0:40:450:40:47

And cut.

0:40:470:40:48

# You're walking along the street Or you're at a party

0:40:520:40:55

# Or else you're alone and then you suddenly dig

0:40:550:40:59

# You're looking in someone's eyes And you suddenly realise

0:40:590:41:02

# This could be the start of something big

0:41:020:41:07

# There's on controlling the unrolling of your fate, my friend

0:41:070:41:10

# Who knows what's written in the magic book?

0:41:100:41:14

# But if a lover you discover at the gate, my friend

0:41:140:41:19

# Invite her in without a second look

0:41:190:41:21

# You're up in an aeroplane Or you're dining at Sardi's

0:41:210:41:25

# Or else you're alone

0:41:250:41:27

# And then you suddenly think You suddenly hear a bell

0:41:270:41:31

# Right away you can tell

0:41:310:41:33

# This could be the start of something

0:41:330:41:35

# This could be the heart of something

0:41:350:41:38

# This could be the start of something

0:41:380:41:41

# Something grand! #

0:41:410:41:44

That's it!

0:41:440:41:47

Tony Bennett celebrated turning 80 in 2006 with this television special created and directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha). In this 'docu-musical', the viewer is taken on a musical journey of Tony's life via a re-creation of the seminal venues of his career.

From 52nd Street swing clubs to the Columbia recording studios where he first recorded, from the classic TV studios of the 60s to the Rat Pack's Las Vegas stage and from Carnegie Hall to his triumphant performance on MTV Unplugged, Tony is paired with some of today's greatest artists to perform duets of his greatest hits, including Barbra Streisand, Elton John, John Legend and Christina Aguilera.

These performances are seamlessly woven throughout with narratives by Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, John Travolta and Robert De Niro.