In recognition of her upcoming birthday on November 2, The Year of Tony Bennett is very pleased to announce k.d. lang week.
I have been a fan of k.d. lang since the 1987 Angel With A Lariat, the cassette of which was permanently lodged in my car stereo for many months. The release the next year of Shadowland, produced by Owen Bradley and featuring guest performances with Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, was a more typical country album than Angel With A Lariat and, for me, told me that this punk cowgirl from Canada was a real performer to be reckoned with. Her 1989 album Absolute Torch and Twang won her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and further introduced her to American audiences.
For this author, the song that made me a permanent fan of hers was her 1990 recording of So In Love for Red Hot + Blue, an album of Cole Porter songs sung by popular artists from several genres (the album was an AIDS fundraiser), was the first time I heard her sing from the American songbook. Along with the brilliantly directed and conceived video for the song, I knew then that I wanted to hear her sing more jazz and songs from the songbook. I got my wish with Constant Craving in 1992, for which she won another very well-deserved Grammy, this time for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
In 1994, she appeared as a guest on Tony Bennett’s MTV Unplugged television show, where they performed their first duet, Moonglow. They have sung together ever since, including their work on Playing With My Friends, their album A Wonderful World, Duets and Duets II. We will be featuring their songs all week as songs of the day all week on The Year of Tony Bennett.
She is currently touring with her band, the Siss Boom Bang.
The writers at the Year of Tony Bennett also welcome her to our home town on Portland.
I don’t know how Tony Bennett and k.d. lang found each other back in 1994, but I am profoundly grateful that they did, as their music together is really magical.