I am thrilled to chat about “Love is Here to Stay”, my new duet album with Diana Krall, and celebrate the music of the Gershwins. It’s hard to believe that I first recorded Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm in 1949 and now almost 70 years later I recorded the same song on this album. I have been fortunate enough to bring home nineteen Grammy Awards and work with such talented artists including Lady Gaga, Bill Charlap, Paul McCartney, Bill Evans, Amy Winehouse, Judy Garland and many more. I’ll be answering your questions today at 3:30pm ET. I look forward to your questions!


Comments: 227 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

Tony_Bennett_510 karma

I just want to thank my fans over the year. You've been so good to me and I hope that you like the new album with Diana Krall. We had such a good time recording it and stay in touch!

Tony_Bennett_329 karma

Hi All! It's Tony here. Thank you all for joining!

GoodLordChokeAnABomb210 karma

Hello, Mr. Bennett. You may or may not be aware that you were the first celebrity to appear as yourself on The Simpsons. What are your memories of that appearance, and did you have any idea at the time that the show, and its celebrity cameos, would become such a phenomenon?

Tony_Bennett_414 karma

My son Danny told me about this offer and he said to me that it was a very cool show. So, I decided to do it. I recorded a song called "Capitol City" for the appearance and I loved how Matt Groening animated me in the episode. In fact, after the episode Matt gave me the original drawing and signed it from Bart Simpson.

urbanphil0s0phy205 karma

Hey Tony. Love your voice man. What's your favourite song to sing? One you have never gotten tired of singing all these years.?

Tony_Bennett_406 karma

It may be hard to believe but my signature song, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" is still my favorite song to perform. It turned me into an international artist as i was asked to sing the song all over the world, so that song really made me a global citizen.

Kate-in-Texas139 karma

This is exciting, thanks for doing this Mr. Bennett. My question: What famous performer would you would have loved to have done a duet with, but that person is no longer living? Thank you!

Tony_Bennett_312 karma

I was very good friends with Louis Armstrong because he lived in Queens which was my hometown. And although we shared the same bill together at a performance in Washington D.C. I've never had the chance to do a duet with him. Louis taught as all how to sing. So I always wish I had an opportunity to record an album with him.

Tony_Bennett_340 karma

Also, I remember I was at an event in which Billie Holiday was singing. And after she performed she asked me if I would go up to the Apollo Theater and sing with her. I was with a group of people at the time and they talked me out of going. And to this day, I still regret not going up to the Apollo with Billie.

prconlon105 karma

Tony, you’re the greatest. But in regards to your friend, Frank Sinatra, what is your go-to Sinatra album when you feel like listening to Sinatra?

Tony_Bennett_198 karma

I would have to say that "In The Wee Small Hours" is one of my favorites and I'm sure most Sinatra fans love that particular album as well. It really captures the psychological element of Sinatra's singing style. Bing Crosby first introduced the art of "intimate singing" but Frank really perfected it.

suaveitguy103 karma

What is the greatest duet ever recorded?

Tony_Bennett_306 karma

You know I think the duet albums that Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald did together are my absolute favorites. Louis and Ella were such extraordinary human beings as well as artists. Having them both sing together was a perfect partnership.

disqeau96 karma

Hello Tony! Thanks for doing the AMA. Are you still finding time to enjoy painting?

Tony_Bennett_180 karma

Yes, I try to paint every day and when I'm on the road I travel with watercolors. I always keep a small sketch pad and pencil in the pocket of my suit jacket so I'm able to draw whenever something inspires me.

suaveitguy91 karma

What makes a great concert venue, from a singer's perspective?

Tony_Bennett_217 karma

I prefer concert halls that are built like the great opera houses of Europe. I can walk on stage during a soundcheck and all I have to do is sing one note and I know if the sound in the hall is good. Although I've done performances in stadiums, I prefer working in a more intimate setting.

suaveitguy69 karma

Who was a great singer that you don't think gets their due anymore, or maybe didn't in the first place?

Tony_Bennett_156 karma

You know, I think there are so many jazz singers and jazz musicians out there who are incredible artists and they just don't get the attention that they deserve. Jazz music came from American, originated in New Orleans and it's been one of the greatest contributions that the United States has made to world culture.

suaveitguy62 karma

What do you look for in a good opening act?

Tony_Bennett_148 karma

Actually, for many years I never had an opening act but in recent years my daughter Antonia Bennett opens the show for me. She's a wonderful jazz singer and she attended the Berklee College of Music. So its great to have her on the road with me.

acerifolium58 karma

You are amazing! How do you keep those pipes in shape?

Tony_Bennett_175 karma

Well thank you! After I returned from WWI under the G.I. Bill of Rights, I had the opportunity to study at the American Theatre Wing. It was there that I learned the bell canto style of singing which is used by opera singers. It gave me the foundation I needed to keep my voice in shape. In fact, there's a saying among singers that if you don't do your scales on the first day, you know it. If you don't do your scales on the second day, then the band knows it. And if you don't do you scales on the third day, your audience knows it.

Em_Adespoton46 karma

Has your attitude to album publicity changed over the years? How/How not, Why/Why not?

Tony_Bennett_116 karma

Well when I got started, in order to get publicity for a record, you had to go to every single radio station in the country, in person and do interviews. Now, I can reach my fans on a computer and don't have to travel. That's the biggest difference that I've noticed from when I started out.

Bmc0044 karma

Why do you think an artist that has been around as long as you have is able to always connect with the newest generation of fans? What keeps you going?

Tony_Bennett_79 karma

Now I've always loved performing. When I was a child my family would gather in a circle on Sunday afternoons and my brother, sister, and I would perform for them. They gave me such encouragement that I knew then that I wanted to be a performer. I love entertaining people and making them happy. So that's what keeps me going.

michaelacramer29 karma

Is there an album of yours or a song that you wish more people knew about?

Tony_Bennett_85 karma

Funny enough, when I recorded "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" it was on the B side of the record. On the A side, was a song called "Once Upon A Time" from a play called "All American" that I loved and thought it was going to be a big hit. But I got a call from my record label Columbia and they said, "Tony, turn the record over 'San Francisco' is going to be the big hit." They were right of course but I still love the song "Once Upon A Time".

suaveitguy25 karma

Was was Robert Farnon like to work with? What set him apart?

Tony_Bennett_35 karma

Robert Farnon was known as the "Governor" by everyone and I was fortunate enough to do many albums with him when I lived in London. There was no one better than him for arrangements and orchestrations. And in fact, I'd never really wanted to do a holiday album, but we did one called "Snow Fall" with Robert Farnon that was one of my favorites.

Balok1022 karma

Why did you pick the Gershwins for this album? I really enjoyed your version of Do It Again

Tony_Bennett_48 karma

I was very proud of the fact that the first song I ever recorded was a Gershwin song..."Fascinating Rhythm". I remember at the time that I wanted to choose a song I knew would last forever. And here I am, almost 70 years later singing "Fascinating Rhythm" on this new album devoted to the Gershwins. Their music is always contemporary and stands the test of time.