Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett

( 4 )

Overview

Legendary singer, artist, and performer Tony Bennett has been one of the world's most beloved entertainers for more than six decades. From the 78 to the LP to the digital age, Tony has done it all, and is still at the top of his game. Decade after decade, this artistic icon—who has won seventeen Grammys, sung for ten presidents, and performed for royalty—has refused to compromise his vision or values. Bennett's popularity continues to grow as each new generation discovers his ...

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Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett

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Overview

Legendary singer, artist, and performer Tony Bennett has been one of the world's most beloved entertainers for more than six decades. From the 78 to the LP to the digital age, Tony has done it all, and is still at the top of his game. Decade after decade, this artistic icon—who has won seventeen Grammys, sung for ten presidents, and performed for royalty—has refused to compromise his vision or values. Bennett's popularity continues to grow as each new generation discovers his timeless songs and incredible voice.

In this entertaining and thoughtful memoir, Bennett shares stories of friends and family and the essential lessons they have taught him: of the value of hard work and of creating art that continues to inspire; of perseverance and a dedication to excellence; of the necessity of humility, love, respect, and, most important, gratitude. He pays tribute to all the remarkable talents he has had the honor to work with and to learn from, including Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, and others.

A magnificent testament to an extraordinary man and his art, and illustrated with Tony Bennett's own beautiful hand-drawn artwork, Life Is a Gift is a work that will captivate, delight, and be cherished by music lovers of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Tony Bennett never wants to retire: "If you study the masters—Picasso, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire—right up to the day they died, they were performing. If you are creative, you get busier as you get older." And he never loses his touch. Whether he is singing duets with Paul McCartney, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, or Amy Winehouse, this Queens-born performer remains his inimitable self. In his new memoir Life is a Gift, that inimitable self is in full, radiant view, dispensing memories of his career, his collaborators, and the wisdom that he has picked up along the way. An original; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book.

Booklist
"Bennett offers inspiring observations from a joyful life fully lived … [in] this generous, upbeat memoir."
Booklist (starred review)
“Bennett offers inspiring observations from a joyful life fully lived … [in] this generous, upbeat memoir.”
Publishers Weekly
Relaxed and comfortable but full of vigor, Bennett’s voice has charmed audiences for more than 60 years. Writing in the same style as he sings, in this new work he shares meditative lessons culled from his amazing life. Having learned the value of hard work during the Great Depression, the pointlessness of war during WWII, and the importance of being true to yourself during a career that has seen musical fads come and go over and over, Bennett (The Good Life, with Will Friedwald) has developed a loose set of rules by which he lives. Whether he is suggesting people “Only Sing Good Songs” or “Everything Should be Done with Love,” Bennett explains how these tenets have shaped his success and makes suggestions about how others can apply them to their lives. Though not an autobiography per se, Bennett shares countless tales about showbiz, his famous friends, his family, and his artistic career. Still, it doesn’t matter if he is recounting being awestruck by Frank Sinatra, disagreeing with Columbia Records honcho Clive Davis, or lamenting overindulgence on drugs and alcohol, he remains Zen-like in his delivery. Though slight and not a full account, Bennett’s tips for happiness, success, and longevity are like music to the ears. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Not your standard memoir: Bennett examines how his music has evolved over a six-decade career that has seen a relentless march of styles and stars. Yes, there's an audience; note the 100,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
The legendary master of the American songbook shares stories and lessons learned from a life in music. As Bennett (The Good Life: The Autobiography of Tony Bennett, 1998) notes, Frank Sinatra called him "my favorite singer" on more than one occasion. The effect of this endorsement on Bennett's career was, of course, enormous. From a generation of singers still inclined to refer to his work as "showbiz," Bennett's career has had a peerless longevity and has likely provided him with wisdom and anecdotes for two or three books of this nature. The stories are wide-ranging, calling on his relationships with the best-known jazz singers and musicians from the 20th century--stories of collaborations, disagreements and adventures. His passion for art, travel and learning also take the stage. Each chapter showcases what Bennett sees as the necessities for a successful life--e.g., respecting others, hard work, ignoring "trends," and focusing on what you know and love. Bennett is also willing to call bologna by its name when he sees it, and he decries what he calls the "flattening out" of the music industry and of the tendency to prioritize all aspects of the business aside from the quality of the music. Some of the "Zen" suggestions at the close of each chapter fall flat--e.g., there's nothing particularly useful in stating that the world will be a better place if everyone can learn to get along and appreciate each others' differences. There is, however, a great deal of wisdom in the suggestions when they stem directly from Bennett's own richly lived life. Like Bennett's catalog of music--you may not fall in love with each individual story, but it's hard to argue with the way it's being told.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062207074
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 405,002
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett has sold millions of albums, earned multiple platinum and gold records, and won two Emmy Awards as well as seventeen Grammys, including the Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also named a Kennedy Center Honoree.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Mitch Albom ix

Introduction: How Do You Keep the Music Playing? xv

1 Only Sing Good Songs 1

2 I've Always Been Unplugged 13

3 Proper Involvement 19

4 Learn What to Leave Out 41

5 The Art of Excellence 49

6 Fame on the Brain 61

7 Never Underestimate the Public 71

8 Butterflies Are Good 81

9 Bel Canto 89

10 The Family Circle 97

11 War Is Insanity 111

12 Free Form 119

13 Everything Should Be Done with Love 129

14 When They Zig, I Zag 135

15 Mentor a Young Person 147

16 Black Crows and Golden Birds 155

17 Life Is a Gift 169

18 Citizen of the World 179

19 Sometimes Turn Off All the Mics 193

20 Go with Truth and Beauty 201

21 Giving Back 209

22 This Too Shall Pass 219

23 I Sing to the Whole Family 229

24 I Never Worked a Day in My Life 235

Acknowledgments 243

List of Artwork 245

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2012

    awesome

    I would buy anything by Tony Bennett!!! I am 70 yrs old and have loved his music since I was a teenager. he never fails to produce a beautiful product. keep them coming Tony!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    This book sang to my spirit when my spirit needed a song...that

    This book sang to my spirit when my spirit needed a song...that says it all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2013

    "BRAVO" MR. BENNETT

    What can I say? BRAVO!! Mr. Bennett...I absolutely, unequivocally, loved this book. Tony Bennett has been one of my favorite singers since way back when I was a teen-ager. I remember listening to his music over and over. I think the first song I remember hearing him sing was "Rags to Riches." Which if I remember correctly, it was a Number 1 hit, at the time way back in the early 1950s. He is like the energizing bunny, he just keeps going, and only gets better with age.

    I loved his "Duets" albums, what a treat they were. I never tire of listening to him sing....

    I loved reading this book, I never highlighted a book as much as I did this one. I loved all his little gems or should I say... "The Zen of Bennett"... There were pictures of his many drawings, many photos of him with friends and family. What can I say? BRAVO!! Mr. Bennett...

    This book is part of my Nook library. I loved this book, therefore I am awarding it 5 Gold *****

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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