Tony's landmark 1968 LP, Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album, was a lush orchestral session arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon, working with Columbia staff producer Jack Gold. Farnon was a frequent collaborator of Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, and of course Tony, the only survivor of that golden generation of singers. From that LP come five tracks: "Winter Wonderland," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things," Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song," and the medley of "I Love The Winter Weather/I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm."
Moving ahead three decades, The Classic Christmas Album reprises a track by Tony with the venerable backing of the Ralph Sharon Quartet, "Christmas In Herald Square" (from 1998's The Playground). In 2001, Tony released the critically acclaimed Sony Classical album, Our Favorite Things, a collaboration with the Ralph Sharon Quartet and an orchestra arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli. From that album come "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," and the traditional "The First Noël," with a guest appearance by tenor virtuoso Placido Domingo.
Sessions with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, orchestrated by Robert Farnon and conducted by Don Jackson, led to an album for Hallmark Music in 2001, Christmas With Tony Bennett. From that album come four standards, "Deck The Halls," "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and "Silent Night."
The Classic Christmas Album comes right up to date with selections from 2008's aptly titled A Swingin' Christmas, featuring the Count Basie Big Band: "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Christmas Time Is Here" (from the CBS-TV show, A Charlie Brown Christmas), "Silver Bells," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," and Irving Berlin's "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm."
As the world acknowledges Tony Bennett's 85th birthday, Columbia/RPM/ Legacy marks the event with Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection. This historic box set gathers his entire album catalog (on Columbia, Roulette, MGM, Improv, and Fantasy), plus the Columbia singles, outtakes and rarities, historic television specials, and more on 73 CDs and 3 DVDs. This extraordinary chronicle, containing more than a thousand individual songs, will be available exclusively at select Barnes and Noble retail locations on November 8th. BN.com and tonybennett.com will be the exclusive on-line retail sites and fans can now pre-order the collection online.
Also: September 20th marked the release of the long-awaited Duets II on Columbia/RPM, the sequel to Tony's 2006 album, Duets, which paired him with artists ranging from Barbra Streisand and the Dixie Chicks, to Bono and Sting, Stevie Wonder and more. Duets II finds Tony in the company of celebrated artists including Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah, John Mayer, and others. The CD made history when it debuted at the #1 position on the Billboard album charts, making Bennett the oldest artist to ever have a #1 CD. Tony's single with Amy Winehouse of "Body and Soul," appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts again making Bennett the oldest artists to have a single on those charts. The music video of Bennett's duet with Lady Gaga of "The Lady is a Tramp, " was just added on the MTV Networks' rotation.
Tony Bennett - The Classic Christmas Album
1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (E)
2. Deck The Halls (D)
3. My Favorite Things (A)
4. Christmas Time Is Here (E)
5. The First Noël (C)
6. The Christmas Song (A)
7. Silver Bells (E)
8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (C)
9. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (D)
10. I Love The Winter Weather/I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (A)
11. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (E)
12. Christmas In Herald Square (B)
13. I'll Be Home For Christmas (E)
14. O Come All Ye Faithful (D)
15. What Child Is This (previously unreleased)
16. Winter Wonderland (A)
17. Silent Night (D)
18. White Christmas (A).
A – from Snowfall, Columbia 9739, originally issued 11/6/68
B – from The Playground, Columbia 69380, originally issued 9/29/98
C – from Our Favorite Things, Sony Classical 89468), originally issued 11/15/01
D – from Christmas With Tony Bennett, Hallmark Music 7009, originally issued 2002
E – from A Swingin' Christmas, Columbia 88697 34321 2, originally issued 10/14/2008