New series 1/4. Russell Davies celebrates the life and career of Tony Bennett , who was 80 yesterday and remains the most revered crooner from a generation that took its cues from Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
Best known for his 1962 Grammywinnng ballad I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Bennett (originally Benedetto) first hit big in 1951 with Because of You. Other top tunes such as Cold, Cold Heart, Rags to Riches and Stranger in Paradise established the singer as distinctly different from Sinatra. Bennett has interpreted the greats - from Cole Porter to the Gershwins and Irving Berlin - and performed with the likes of Count Basie, Art Blakey , kd lang, Bonnie Raitt and BB King. An accomplished painter and devoted charity fundraiser, he has found fame well beyond his own generation, having appeared both on MTV and at Glastonbury. Producer Graham Pass
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