QUESTION: Which of the following performers never recorded a duet with Tony Bennett?
A) Amy Winehouse
B) Mick Jagger
C) k.d. lang
D) Tim McGraw
Anthony Benedetto was born in Astoria, Queens, New York in 1926, the child of Italian immigrants, just in time to grow up during the Great Depression. He started singing during this time, but he came of age during World War II and was drafted. He served on the front line in Europe towards the end of the conflict. After the war, he was stationed in Germany, singing for a military band. He got in trouble when he chose to dine with African-American friends in the segregated military, receiving a demotion for his offense.
War made him a pacifist and, when he returned to the States, he was ready to sing professionally. He would become one of the best-loved crooners of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries using his new name: Tony Bennett. Thanks to the help of luminaries Pearl Bailey and Bob Hope, Bennett got noticed and, in 1951, "Because of You" became his first hit. He would have many, many more over the next seven decades (as well as many misses), and his own television show for a time in the Fifties. After a slump in sales during the Seventies and Eighties, Bennett worried that his career might be over; however, a revamped image and a popular resurgence found him on top again. He continues to make duets with popular recording artists, some of whom are sixty years his junior.
The album we would like to discuss today is displayed in the Music Room, on our "Record Wall." It is the 1968 recording Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album. No better time to celebrate Christmas than the beginning of May, right? It includes many of the holiday staples, such as "Winter Wonderland," "My Favorite Things," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," and "White Christmas." Most notable about the album is that it was arranged and conducted by award winning British composer Robert Farnon. The extremely prolific Bennett would record two more Christmas albums along with the dozens of other records he would create over the years.
ANSWER: B) Mick Jagger, but there's still a chance!