Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tony Bennett's upcoming releases

Fresh Off Emmy Sweep, Bennett Readies Fall Projects
by Gary Graff - Billboard/Reuters

NEW YORK -- Winning seven Emmy Awards couldn't have come at a better time for Tony Bennett.

On September 16, the venerable singer took home seven of the TV industry's top prizes for his 2006 NBC special "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," including outstanding variety, music or comedy special and outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program. It was the most-honored of any single program at the ceremony.

And it certainly gives a boost to a trio of projects Bennett is releasing this fall. A new compilation, "Tony Bennett Sings the Ultimate American Songbook Vol. 1" on Sony Legacy, comes out September 25, as does the DVD issue of the documentary "Clint Eastwood Presents Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends," which premiered on PBS' "American Masters" series earlier this month. The latter is part of a "Rent it at Netflix, Buy it at Target" partnership that gives those companies exclusive sales rights to the film for two months.

On October 1, Barnes & Noble will publish "Tony Bennett in the Studio: A Life of Art and Music," featuring Bennett's paintings as well as a preface by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and a foreword by author Mitch Albom.

And all this comes in the wake of his Grammy Award-winning "Duets: An American Classic" album, which has sold about 1.8 million copies in the United States and almost 2.5 million worldwide.

"All of a sudden it's like Tony Bennett season again," said Bennett's son and manager, Danny Bennett. "It's great to see."

The younger Bennett and his RPM Music Production company haven't wasted any time in trumpeting the Emmy sweep in full-page national and regional ads in major publications.

Danny Bennett said he's also in discussions for additional airings of the Eastwood documentary, which will be eligible for Emmy consideration in 2008.

As for an encore to the "Duets" album, Bennett said a "collaboration" is likely for fourth-quarter 2008. Tony Bennett previously told that he's pursuing a full-scale duets project with Stevie Wonder (like we had anticipated here in the blog sometime ago), with whom he won a Grammy for their "Duets" rendition of "For Once in My Life."

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