FlyingTypers Logo
Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 22 No. 24
Monday July 24, 2023

Tony Bennett—It's a Good Life

Tony Bennett

     The thing about Tony Bennett the great popular singer who died Friday July 21st at 96, was he brought along a generation of younger performers—accompanying them, doing appearances and recording with them to preserve the music of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and other writers of the 1920s, 30s, 40s right up to the present.
     The accolades will undoubtedly come from everywhere but know this, I knew Tony and he was the real deal and a damn good guy to boot.
     Tony lived in the Claridge's on 55th Street in a big sprawling pre-war apartment overlooking Radio City Music Hall. I first saw him in his home with my friend Al 'Jazzbo' Collins the all-night man on WNEW-AM Radio in New York.
     Jazzbo, prior to his stint in New York, had been a top DJ in San Francisco.
     I met Jazzbo, when he was at WNEW and I was working on reviving the music of a 30s band called Hal Kemp.
     Tony Bennett, the singer was also a painter named Anthony Dominick Benedetto, so when he called Jazzbo and asked to see him, I happened to be there. We jumped into my Kharmann Ghia and were off to Claridge’s.
     Tony, it turns out way back when Jazzbo was on the air at KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco, never forgot how Jazz flogged his “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” which turned out to be Tony’s signature tune for the rest of his life.
     As part of his bucket list of things to do for Jazzbo, Tony did an oil painting picturing Al Collins sitting in “The Purple Grotto” a fantasy location that came to life every evening several stories below the streets of 42nd and 3rd Avenue where WNEW Radio and the Horn & Hardart Automat Restaurant were located.
     Tony had the painting on a stretcher sitting on an easel, waiting for Jazzbo.      Through the windows of his apartment I could see the marquee of Radio City flashing away below, a sight I have never forgotten.
     I had come along as the wheel guy thinking that Tony, who grew up in Astoria, near where LaGuardia Airport is, might like a copy of the book I wrote to save The Marine Air Terminal, so I brought It along to give to him.
     He graciously accepted the copy and the memory of how genuine and nice a guy Tony Bennett was, has always remained with me.
     I had known of Tony Bennett since the 1950s when his pop tune “Rags to Riches” made him famous. Later my favorite all time was/is “I Want To Be Around”.
     As we departed 55th Street and headed downtown back to our apartment in Greenwich Village with the painting sticking partially outside the Ghia’s rear window, Jazzbo smiled and said about Tony:
     “He is a real human being.”
     Now that all these people are gone, I’m glad I was around to share this story.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 22 No. 21
Sean McCool With The Angels Now
Vol. 22 No. 22

Trifecta For Change
Chuckles for June 26, 2023
Ahead To FIATA World Congress
Mahindra Logistics Lands In Dubai
Me & Jane On A Plane
Remembering Gordon Lightfoot

Vol. 22 No. 23

Predict The Future
By Creating It

Chuckles for July 13, 2023
IndiGlo For IndiGo CarGo
Sky High Delhi Vaz
Hey Friend Do It Again
Paris Air Show Happy Returns

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

Send comments and news to geoffrey@aircargonews.com
Opinions and comments expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher but remain solely those of the author(s).
FlyingTypers reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and content. All photos and written material submitted to this publication become the property of FlyingTypers Media.
Copyright ©2023 FTMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
More@ www.aircargonews.com

recycle100% Green