The Valley News Team
Tony Bennett—The Maestro of Love Songs


IN A WORLD where flashing neon stars are hot and then soon become embers of their fame, there is one outstanding performer who will always be a glowing, perpetual star. That star is the one and only gentleman, Tony Bennett.

Tony Bennett is an icon. Recently, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Billboard Awards, an honor that was long overdue. A musician’s singer, a singer’s singer, Tony Bennett is a true artist. His songs of love, whether it is unrequited, everlasting or those of admiration from afar, are songs that are classics. When we listen to his songs, we think of the loves in our lives. Tony Bennett sings our thoughts, creating a vocalization of phrasing and interpretation that is outstanding as is his melodious voice.

A couple of years ago, we had the honor of seeing Tony Bennett when he played the intimate room at the Golden Nugget. Sitting there transfixed to his being and transformed to another place by his voice, we felt as if Tony Bennett was singing to us alone. I believe that everyone in that room had the same reaction to that performance. It was a moment in history when you feel blessed just to be in the near proximity of an extraordinary performer as he transcends the barriers of time and lifts your soul and spirit to a new realm. Love is…love is…love is Tony Bennett. This April, he reprised his performance at the Hilton in his true mesmerizing performance.

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco," "Rags to Riches," "I Wanna Be Around," "Once Upon a Time," "Just in Time," "Because of You," are just a few of the great Bennett hits throughout the years. No other singer has been able to currently receive the accolades that respect his talent for creating the moods and meanings of his vast repertoire over his performing career.

Tony Bennett deservedly has become king of the singers as he enters his eighth decade. A native of Astoria, Queens, NY, born Anthony DiBenedetto, he, like so many, many other Italian Americans, has become one of the great artists of our time. Tony Bennett is not only an artist of song, but he is also an accomplished painter and artist. His works have been displayed in many galleries and museums. The multi-faceted Bennett is engaging as his twinkling eyes, and warm and real smile. His sophistication, his love of life and his talents are all in evidence in his very persona. Bennett has even penned songs, notably, "All For You," which he composed in 2004.

As springtime brings thoughts of love, we think of all the things we love and we just want say, "Thank you, Tony Bennett for bringing the songs of love into so many people’s lives." Tony Bennett songs and heartfelt wishes are just part of the celebration of this season of new loves, lovers, those we love, and The Singer of Love himself.

Tony Bennet will always be forever Tony. Thank you Tony for just being here to make our lives loving experiences.

[Editor's Note: View Tony's artwork at his Web site:]

      © Lucille Thaler/Tony Zanoff and used with permission.

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