Blue Notes

Last Night: Tony Bennett At Jones Hall

Tony Bennett Jones Hall April 26, 2011

Tuesday night was the 60th anniversary of Tony Bennett recording what would become first No. 1 single, a little tune called "Because of You." After hearing the 85-year-old singer perform with his quartet at Jones Hall, sharing the bill with the Houston Symphony, it's easy to believe he might still have a couple more chart toppers in him.

In the late 1940s, Bennett came in second in a talent contest; Rosemary Clooney beat him out - "We were the first American Idols," Bennett jokes.

Pearl Bailey happened to see his performance and invited him to join her show. Bob Hope dropped in to see Pearl Bailey and caught Bennett onstage. After the show, Bob Hope asked the young singer his name.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, answered Tony. "That's a little too long for the marquee. Why don't you try Tony Bennett?" Hope said, and promptly took Bennett on tour with him.

It was a wonderland beginning to a career that is still going strong.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez