Today in My History
Keep the Wagon Moving
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
4 October 2021
I am so fortunate that I saw a brief comment on Facebook about a 60 Minute bit on Tony Bennett. I rarely watch 60 Minutes but I record it each week in case there is something that I should see, so I'm glad I was able to find Anderson Cooper's report.
Bennett was never one of my favorites, but he's the only one from his era that has survived (and he sings to most beautiful song about my home town!). He recently celebrated his 95th birthday by giving a concert at Radio City Music Hall with Lady Gaga.
The thing that makes it so special is that Tony Bennett has Alzheimers. He remembers his wife and his children, but can't really carry on a conversation, doesn't know where he lives, and is very much like my mother. In interview, his wife of 30 years did most of the talking and some shots of Bennett showed him with that far off expression that I recognize so well from my mother.
But he can still sing. After watching him shuffle around his house, looking like he doesn't know where he is, his pianist started playing the piano and from down the hall came this steady stride and he went right to the piano and started singing.
He sang song after song with no notes, no cue cards.
Lady Gaga opened the show while Tony and his wife sat back stage and she kept reminding him that he was going to sing. "What am I going to sing?" he would ask her. When it was time for him to go on stage, she escorted him to the stage, handed him a mic, turned him toward the curtain, the curtain went up and he looked at the audience and just said "wow!"
He took the mic and sang about 15 songs and then Lady Gaga came on stage to sing a couple of duets with him. "Here's Lady Gaga," he said to the audience, though he had not known her name for weeks.
When he ended with a strong "I left my heart in San Francisco" there were tears streaming down my face and he got another of the 20 standing ovations he received during the night.
The next day Anderson Cooper went to see him and his wife again.
He didn't know what Cooper was congratulating him for and had no memory of the concert.
I remember reading a book about music and Alzheimers and I
remember when I would take my mother somewhere and play a special playlist I
made for her in the car. She couldn't remember the friends we were having
lunch with...or the lunch we had just finished...but she sang along with every
song on the way home, and knew every word.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7864