Friday, June 23, 2017
The superlative, soon- to- be 91 Tony Bennett (born Anthony Benedetto) was just announced as the 2017 winner of the Gershwin Prize by the Library of Congress, which is given "to a composer or performer for their lifetime contributions to popular music." A true Renaissance man, Bennett's contributions over his more than 70- year career are both qualitative (just listen to the man!) and quantitative (70 albums, 13 Grammys, Kennedy Center Honors, etc.). But we also love him because he's a mensch - a good Democrat whose philanthropic, civil rights, and humanitarian efforts have been widely praised, and whose musical gifts he readily shares with fellow artists. To honor his latest achievement, we've got to go with a composition by George and Ira Gershwin that, as with most other songs he's covered, Bennett effortlessly owns. Hope you enjoy.