The Good Life
ABOUT THE BOOK...From The Publisher 

He's that regular guy from Astoria, Queens, who left his heart in San Francisco. He's the postwar heartthrob who inspired hundreds of young girls to wear black outside St. Patrick's Cathedral on his wedding day. 

He's the darling of the MTV generation who made music history when, at the age of 68, he won the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year. He's the consummate artist known worldwide for his paintings. He's Tony Bennett, whose star shines brighter than ever as he enters his fifth decade of performing. Now, for the first time, this legend shares his amazing life story -- in a voice   that's pure Tony Bennett: warm, resonant, and unforgettable. 

"Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it," praised The New York Times. Since his appearance with the Red Hot Chili Peppers of the 1993 MTV Video Awards, and the addition of his seminal video, 'Steppin' Out,' to the MTV playlist, Bennett has become the hottest -- and coolest -- pop-culture icon for today's younger listeners, while remaining beloved by their parents and grandparents. An astonishing four generations have experienced the Tony Bennett magic -- the mesmerizing spell of a singer in love with singing, who embraces his audience with a soulful serenity communicated by both the man and his music. 
 
Honored with countless awards, including eight Grammys, and with more than 90 albums to his credit (more than thirty million sold for the Columbia label alone), no other recording artist has attained Bennett's stature -- or garnered the half-century of memories shared in The Good Life. From Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald, to k.d. lang and Elvis Costello, Bennett shares his unique takes on the most fascinating talents of our time. Here is the story of his lifelong love affair with art, music, and performing -- from his childhood in Depression-era Queens; to his stint as a singing waiter; to soaking  up the New York jazz scene in the 1940s. With crisp wit and firmly grounded emotion, Bennett captures the people and places that shaped his sublime performances. The dozens of hits he introduced  to the great American songbook, including "Because of You," "Rags to Riches," "Cold, Cold Heart," and his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," remain a legacy of truth and beauty for the classic art of intimate singing. 
 
In this wonderfully revealing self-portrait, we get to know Tony Bennett as he really is: an unpretentious and thoughtful human being. His key to success is consistency: His constant dedication to the pursuit of excellence has never wavered, despite the trials and tribulations one can encounter when placing  integrity above all else. Through all of his personal and artistic challenges, he has remained, in his own words, 'a humanist' whose Zen-like philosophy of life is an inspiration for all. Like the fascinating story   he shares in The Good Life, Tony Bennett is one of a kind, an American treasure, an enduring artist seasoned with experience and self-knowledge, and a true class act. 

 Reviews 
                  From The New York Times 
 
 Tony Bennett has not just bridged the generation gap, he has demolished it. 
 
From Library Journal 

Bennett follows up a remarkable singing career with this biography. Look for the A&E "Live by Request" performance and a 50th-anniversary prime-time TV special. 
 

 From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly 

 With Frank Sinatra at eternal rest and Mel Torme felled by a 1996 stroke, Bennett has assumed the mantle of America's greatest crooner. This memoir tracks the singer's life from his birth in 1926 in  Astoria, Queens, as Antonio Dominick Benedetto, through adolescent dalliances with music and art, an overseas stint in the Army and a series of stateside breaks that established him as a jazzy, technically masterful interpreter of popular standards. There are delightful bits of trivia, such as that Bennett, during his late-1980s comeback, became the first animated real-life character on The Simpsons. There's philosophy of a mild sort as Bennett lets off some steam about America's failure to deliver on its birthright of equality; he also laments that race, religion and sexual orientation divide people of like  minds. Most of all, there are names, swarms of them. Bennett's list of influences, collaborators, acquaintances, employees and friends reads like a phone book of  20th-century celebrity. For all its star power, the book is ultimately undermined by a shortage of musical insight. Bennett only hints at his  well-known animosity toward the rock music that derailed his career in the late '60s and early '70s.  

And while he is forthright about his demons, particularly two failed marriages and a nasty cocaine habit that almost ended in an overdose, this confessional strain is overpowered by a seeming preoccupation with portraying himself and his loved ones as fair-minded and affable. Bennett's book would have been better if he had left a little bit less of his heart in San Francisco and put a little bit more into this effort. 
                   (Nov.) 
 Quotes 
                  The best singer in the business. ¡XFrank Sinatra


 
 
 
 

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