Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse - A Tribute
Legendary crooner Tony Bennett recorded a track with Amy Winehouse, (before her death obviously), and it was released on the 14th of September, 2011, as part of his album entitled Duets II.
Coincidentally, the 14th of September, 2011, would have been Amy Winehouse's 28th birthday.
Also on the recording tracks were duets with Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey.
In less than two weeks this album reached the #1 spot in the US Billboards chart.
This has been billed as Tony Bennett's first number 1 record! His career spans 60 years. His name is recognised in every home in every country throughout the world, yet this is his first top spot in the charts? Read further down!
Amy Winehouse's family have set up a new foundation called, funnily enough, the Amy Winehouse Foundation which hopes to raise money to help youngsters in trouble with addictions, and they have decreed that Amy's share of the Royalties go there.
If you have not yet heard the song, entitled Body and Soul, it is immediately below here on a Youtube video.
Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse - Body and Soul
Tony Bennett Duets II
Have you listened to it yet? Are the hairs on the back of your neck raising?
What a great duet! What more can I say. The late great voice of the one and only Amy Winehouse with THE Tony Bennett!
What a duo that pair would have made if she had not died, so early and so heartbreakingly over something so stupid.
Not that we can expect Tony Bennett to be around for much longer, he is a fair age. At the time of writing this, Tony Bennett is 85, would you believe?
Tony Bennett has had a long life and a superb career, despite his previous lack of number 1 albums in the charts!
Tony Bennett has had a string of chart toppers.
Despite his albums selling well, none of them ever reached the top of the Billboard charts, and this is what the BBC are reporting, but you could be forgiven for thinking they meant this was the first number 1 hit for Tony Bennett.
Born Antonio Dominick Benedetto on August the 3rd, 1926, Tony Bennett, as he is now known, was just another urchin of Italian descent on the streets of Queens, New York.
Only difference was he liked to sing.
He saw action in World War II where, although a combat soldier, he entertained troops. On his return to New York, he studied music at the American Theatre Wing of GI Bill which was a government sponsored initiative to assist returning GI's.
What he learned there helped him keep his singing voice in good shape for the rest of his life.
He sang where he could while working day jobs, and in 1950 his talent was spotted and he was signed up to Columbia Records.
Then followed a string of hits which include Because of You, Cold Cold Heart, Blue Velvet, Rags to Riches, Stranger in Paradise, In the Middle of an Island, Chicago, I've got the World on a String and finally I Left My Heart In San Francisco.
Well, there were more songs after that, but hey - stop the clock - I only listed these numbers so you could say "oh, so that's who Tony Bennett is! Thought I'd heard the name!"
Funny thing with songs is that even when they are from an era before yours, you will still recognise them, especially as they are GREAT songs!
You might not have noticed before, but listen to this. This is how I Left my Heart in San Francisco should be sung. Not how your Auntie Mary sings when she has had a few too many sherries at Christmas.
I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett
Born in London on the 14th of September 1983, Amy Winehouse was half a world as well as half a lifetime away from Tony Bennett.
Hugely talented from an early age, Amy Winehouse was soon 'discovered' by the music moguls in her teens and signed up to a top record label, Island, by the time she was 20.
Unusually in someone so young, Amy was basically a jazz singer. Being versatile, she sang other types of numbers, but it takes a special talent to sing like she does. Jazz is not an easy style to master, so all your best jazz singers have got that extra talent.
I first heard Amy singing the pop number Rehab. Something about that song made me take a recording to play on my cell phone while in transit, and I don't choose many songs. I really liked that number though.
It was not until after her death and I browsed the Youtube videos of Amy Winehouse singing that I realised the extent of her talent. I could put them here, but you could just as easily go over to Youtube and search for them yourself.
Amy Winehouse died, aged just 27, on the 23rd of July, 2011.
My thoughts go out to her parents, not only at this sad time, but for all their lives. To lose a child is horrendous.
On behalf of the public, thank you for bringing us the talent that was Amy Winehouse, whose songs will live on forever.