Today, Tony Bennett turns 95. The artist - for whom the designation "legendary" isn't mere hyperbole - is scheduled to take the stage tonight at Radio City Music Hall with his friend and collaborator Lady Gaga for the first of two shows billed as One Last Time. Bennett is currently battling Alzheimer's, and tickets for the pair of concerts sold out in moments. An album (date TBA) with Gaga is forthcoming, but in the meantime, Legacy Recordings and Columbia Records have announced a new reissue of Bennett's 1968 Christmas album, Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album, due on October 1.
Produced by Jack Gold (Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand), Snowfall was recorded both in New York and London and showcased Bennett's supple pipes on both ballads (the Claude Thornhill-penned title track, the touching "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and a majestic medley capped off with the dramatic "Where Is Love?" from the musical Oliver!) and swingers ("My Favorite Things," "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," and playful melding of "I Love the Winter Weather" and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"). Bennett was joined in the studio by respected arranger-conductor Robert Farnon, the Canadian-born, London-based composer of numerous classics in the light music genre. The multiple Ivor Novello Award winner also collaborated with such remarkable singers as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, and Lena Horne.
Snowfall has been certified Platinum, and remains a perennial each holiday season. It gained new life when a 1994 CD reissue added a live bonus track of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" from television's The Jon Stewart Show and new cover art of the older Tony. A 2007 CD/DVD reissue appended video tracks from the 1992 special Tony Bennett: A Family Christmas. Legacy's upcoming reissue eschews the CD format altogether in favor of vinyl and digital. It further differentiates itself by restoring Bob Peak's original cover artwork, while Tony's son Dae Bennett has remixed the album from the original multitrack tapes.
This is the first vinyl presentation of Snowfall in the U.S. since 1968; it will be available on both standard black vinyl (from retailers everywhere) and a white variant (at Barnes and Noble only). The sleeve will include images of Bennett's seasonal paintings. Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album arrives from Columbia and Legacy on October 1. Happy Birthday, Tony!
Tony Bennett, Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album (Columbia LP CS 9739, 2021 - reissued Columbia/Legacy, 2021)
- My Favorite Things
- The Christmas Song
- Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
- Medley: We Wish You A Merry Christmas / Silent Night, Holy Night / O Come, All Ye Faithful / Jingle Bells / Where Is Love
- Medley: I Love The Winter Weather / I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
- White Christmas
- Winter Wonderland
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas