FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tony Bennett: Duets II
Behind the Scenes of the Legendary Singer’s History-Making Number One Album,
On THIRTEEN’s Great Performances
Airs Friday, January 27 at 8 p.m. on WTVP-HD.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Michael Bublé, k.d. lang, Aretha
Franklin, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, Andrea Bocelli,
Faith Hill, Alejandro Sanz, Carrie Underwood and Amy Winehouse join Bennett in the studio
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.
Tony Bennett: Duets II,
a presentation of THIRTEEN’s
features the singer’s greatest hits, performed by Bennett and today’s biggest stars, including John Mayer, Michael
Bublé, 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, January 27 from 8-9:30 p.m. on WTVP-HD.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and
respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local
arts programming to the New York community.
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 2011.
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 (see full track listing below).
The CD received kudos from all quarters. The Wall Street Journal noted that the singer was
“…constantly reaffirming his position as pop music’s greatest living patriarch,” and Associated Press
observed, “Tony Bennett is as timeless as the songs he sings on ‘Duets II.’”
The musical segments are highlighted by insights on the process from the performers, making for an
up-close look at one of the year’s most celebrated recordings. The sessions were filmed by Oscar-winning
cinematographer Dion Beebe (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Collateral”), providing a personal, behind-the-scenes
look at Bennett’s latest collaborations and his artistic approach with each song.
Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with more than 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards
including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over. He
remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label. His 2007 primetime special,
“Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards and was directed by Academy Award winner Rob Marshall.
He has performed for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush,
Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. He also worked with and marched alongside Martin Luther King in his 1965 civil
rights march and was honored with the Martin Luther King’s Salute to Greatness Award.
In addition to performing, he is a visual artist as well, with three of his original paintings
featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, including his portraits of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke
Ellington. His humanitarian efforts are renowned, and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian
Award in 2007.
He has published three books — his autobiography, The Good Life, and two collections
of his paintings, Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen and Tony Bennett in the Studio: A Life of
Art and Music. Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts — a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his
wife, Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization that supports arts education in
NYC public high schools. Exploring the Arts supports 14 public high schools throughout New York City.
In the fall of 2007, a documentary of Bennett’s life and career, produced by Clint Eastwood,
“Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends,” aired on THIRTEEN’s
The full song program follows:
“The Lady Is a Tramp” (Lady Gaga)
“One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)” (John Mayer)
“Body and Soul” (Amy Whitehouse)
“Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (Michael Bublé)
“Blue Velvet” (k.d. lang)
“How Do You Keep the Music Playing” (Aretha Franklin)
“The Girl I Love” (Sheryl Crow)
“On the Sunny Side of the Street” (Willie Nelson)
“Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” (Queen Latifah)
“Speak Low” (Norah Jones)
“This Is All I Ask” (Josh Groban)
“Watch What Happens” (Natalie Cole)
“Stranger in Paradise” (Andrea Bocelli)
“The Way You Look Tonight” (Faith Hill)
“Yesterday I Heard the Rain” (Alejandro Sanz)
“It Had to Be You” (Carrie Underwood)
is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Starr
Foundation, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, public television viewers,
Tony Bennett: Duets II
is produced by RPM TV Productions, Inc. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is
Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf
for additional information about this and other programs.
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org
[Back to WTVP Headlines]