Story of Oldest Vocal Artist Tony Bennett on PBS

Tony Bennett made music history with the Grammy-nominated CD Duets II when it debuted at the top of the Billboard Album charts, making Bennett the oldest vocal artist ever to achieve the number one spot. 

Recently nominated for three Grammys, including Best Traditional Pop Vocal, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s), the critically acclaimed album followed the 85-year-old singer’s Grammy-winning 2006 Duets CD, which had, in turn, been released in honor of his 80th birthday.

[ Also Read: Tony Bennett’s Duets II #1 on Billboard Album Chart ]

Tony Bennett: Duets II , a presentation of Thirteen’s Great Performances, features the singer’s greatest hits, performed by Bennett and today’s biggest stars, including John Mayer, Michael Buble, k.d. lang, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Alejandro Sanz, Carrie Underwood and more.

The sessions, filmed to capture the magic of these performers singing with the master of the Great American Songbook, airs on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at 9 p.m. on PBS.

[ Also Read: Tony Bennett: Portrait of an Artist on Display ]

The album took more than six months to record, with each track recorded face-to-face with his singer partners in studios around the world, from LA to Nashville to London. Among the many highlights is Amy Winehouse’s last recorded track (“Body and Soul”), which was produced in London’s famous Abbey Road Studios in March. 

Other tracks were recorded in New York in late July: the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart classic, “The Lady Is a Tramp,” with Lady Gaga, and the Alan and Marilyn Bergman classic, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing,” with Aretha Franklin , and “Stranger in Paradise,” with Andrea Bocelli, recorded at the singer’s Italian home. 

Tony Bennett: Duets II is produced by RPM TV Productions, Inc. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

In the picture above: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett at their recording session of “Lady Is A Tramp” to be included on Bennett’s forthcoming DUETS II CD, photographed by Tony Bennett’s granddaughter, Kelsey Bennett.

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