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Live from Carnegie Hall: Tony Bennett

Carnegie Hall wishes a belated happy birthday to American singing legend Tony Bennett—who celebrated his 85th birthday on August 3—the star of this week's Live from Carnegie Hall.

Artist: Tony Bennett
Album: Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall June 9 1962: Complete Concert
Label: Sony
Date Recorded: June 9, 1962
Fun Fact: When asked about his favorite venue in a 2008 interview with Jerry Fink of the Las Vegas Sun, Bennett proclaimed "I love Carnegie Hall best of all".

1962 was a landmark year for Tony Bennett. Despite the rise of rock and roll in the 1950s, his career had continued to develop, and the late 1950s saw a commercially and critically successful collaboration with Count Basie. This period culminated with the June 1962 Carnegie Hall appearance—his third at the Hall—that resulted in this celebrated live recording. 1962 was also the year he released what was to become his signature song—"I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Soon thereafter, the British Invasion would happen, rendering Bennett's style and recorded output old-fashioned almost overnight—precipitating an artistic and personal decline from which he would not emerge for a decade and a half.

For now, though, he had the Carnegie Hall audience in the palm of his hand throughout this marathon concert. Accompanied by an outstanding lineup that included Al Cohn on tenor saxophone, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Candido Camero on percussion, and his longtime pianist Ralph Sharon, Bennett worked his way through 44 songs and medleys. The original vinyl release featured just 28 tracks on a double album. It was not until the 1997 CD release that fans could experience the full program.

Bennett continued to perform at Carnegie Hall on a regular basis—even throughout the difficult years of the late 1960s and 1970s—and his appearance alongside James Taylor in April 2011 marked his 25th time performing at the Hall.

Happy birthday, Mr. Bennett!

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Live from Carnegie Hall Series
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