Today in My History

2000:  Keep the Wagon Moving
Creepie Crawlies
Dancing Onto the Bandwagon
Who Needs TV?
Ashes or Strippers

2005:  Blue Man Group
2006: The Dog Listener
2007:  Stumbling Around
2008: Chola and Lola
2009: The Sweet Smell of...
2010: Arthur is 90
2011: The Family Dinner
2012: This and That
Parallel Parking
2014: Today at Atria
2015  Sunday Stealing
2016: Bonk
2017: The Long, Long Road Back
I Can't Believe She Ate the Whole Thing
2019: I loved it
Sunday Stealing

Books Read in 2021
 Updated 9/27
"Teacher" by
Alec Clayton

Theater Reviews
Updated 9/27
Singin' in the Rain
Mary Poppins

My family

Bev's 65 x 365

Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

Cast (updated 7/16)

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piņata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev


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.

We were amazed, all his old songs were somehow still there. He sang an hour-long set from memory.

Anderson Cooper: You just start playin' something and it's all there?

Lee Musiker: When I start playing, Tony is completely engaged, and this is a whole new performance and new phrases, new nuance. Nothing short of a miracle.

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.



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