My knowledge of Tony Bennett was limited to the garish brassiness of his 1952 recording of “Because of You” – which my family had on a compilation LP of current pop songs in the early ‘60s – and the TV image of a large-headed man with a militarily-conservative haircut and a prominent proboscis. All of that changed, of course, once the Tony Bennett revival occurred in the early 1990s. The release of a string of outstanding albums, beginning with Bennett/Berlin in 1987 and continuing through to 1997 with his Tony Bennett on Holiday, cemented his reputation culturally – and with me – as one of the finest interpreters of pop and jazz standards that this country has ever produced.
This mixtape was made in the midst of that revival decade. I can’t really explain the “Collegiate Chic” graphic on the cassette insert, except to posit that the “charm & street-smart” tag line seemed to exemplify some of the personal qualities that make the man so endearing; you can hear both swagger and smiling occurring simultaneously on many of the songs here.
Approximate playing time: 79 minutes.
- “You Showed Me the Way” (1995)
- “Nobody Else But Me” (1964)
- “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” (1993)
- “I Wanna Be Around” (1962)
- “I’ve Got Just About Everything” (1964)
- “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” (1962)
- “When Joanna Loved Me” (1963)
- “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” (1992)
- “When I Lost You” (1987)
- “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (and Dream Your Troubles Away)” (1964)
- “When Lights Are Low” (1964)
- “Just in Time” (1956)
- “Who Cares?” (1993)
- “A Sleepin’ Bee” (1959)
- “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” (1993)
- “When Do the Bells Ring for Me?” (1989)
- “Cloudy Morning” (1995)
- “There’s a Lull in My Life” (1964)
- “On Green Dolphin Street” (1964)
- “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” (1964)
- “It Had to Be You” (1964)
- “He Loves and She Loves” (1993)
- “You’re All the World to Me” (1993)
This playlist is available to listen to in its entirety (that is, all of the songs listed on the tape insert above, and in the order listed) over on Spotify (Some songs had to be left off of this blog version due to the overall length of the playlist. I also rearranged the songs on this blog version to excite its flow a bit.). Here’s the link.