Today, as I sit on my lawn chair in the backyard and have my breakfast, I can see out onto the Biscayne Bay which is beautiful and serene. As I fired up my laptop and checked my email, I had one from an old chum who still lives back in Hollywood named Billy Braverman. Billy and I did some work to help the late Tyrone Power get the role in the 1957 movie Witness for the Prosecution which also starred the late Charles Laughton. It was a great movie and yielded outstanding performances from both actors. I had actually met Power in an elevator a few years before in Jacksonville, FL when I was in town scouting some locations for a movie that slips me at this time. I immediately recognized him and we chatted for a few and had mutual chums we both were friendly with.
Errol Flynn, of course being one of them and who would later go on to be his co-star in The Sun Also Rises, which Errol put in a great, but sad performance.
Well, back to Billy’s email which the subject line was 85 and he did it!!!! That 85 year old was singer Tony Bennett who has become an American Treasure. Today, his album ( I know CD) Duets II has went to number one on the Billboard charts which is the first time for him with a debut album and also, a record because he is the oldest artist to ever do it at the ripe old age of 85.
I can recall like it was yesterday when I met Tony Bennett for the first time at a place long gone called Tony’s Fish Market on North Bay Village right next to the bridge that takes you across to Miami Beach. It was around 1966, and he was performing there for a sold out group who gulped down crabs and lobster amongst many other seafood delights. Tony was in great voice and I sat there with another dear friend of mine Don Cornell who I used to play golf with for many years. Don had a huge singing career as well, but sadly as most from that era are, he passed away in 2004. After Tony’s show, he came over to our table to say hello to Don and that is when I was introduced to him. Tony actually knew of my work with Errol Flynn, who he told me was one of his favorite actors. He only had a few minutes because he had to get ready for the midnight show, but he was very friendly as I always heard he was.
So to see some 45 years later, a man of his talent achieve this accomplishment is heartwarming to say the least. Congrads Tony and many more years of recording…