Early in the life of this blog (June 2012) I wrote a post about “Fly Me To The Moon” and how much I loved that song. An excerpt from that post:
My favorite version of this song has never been recorded. It was the version that Mr. Bennett sang at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington on September 14, 2007. This was my first Tony Bennett performance. By the time I bought my tickets, there were no orchestra seats left and I could only get tickets in what was (optimistically) called the mezzanine. At that time, I didn’t know that at certain concert halls, Mr. Bennett sometimes sings this song a capella, without a microphone. Towards the end of the concert, he put down his microphone and started to sing Fly Me To The Moon. Even in the back of the house, his voice filled the auditorium. All of us hung on every note, never wanting this beauty to ever end. I’ve since heard him do the song without a microphone, but nothing could have prepared me for that first moment. It was, and remains, a moment of pure magic.
Here’s a recording of Bennett singing “Fly Me To The Moon” a capella in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on September 6, 1991:
Yesterday, I came across a video, which made me cry in a happy-sad kind of way. I’ll quote from an article on ET:
Once the first show since Bennett’s July death got underway, Gaga addressed her late collaborator’s widow, Susan Crow, who was reportedly in the crowd.
“Susan, everybody in this audience loves you so much,” Gaga said, before speaking about Bennett, whom she previously said she will miss “forever.”
“The truth is, I didn’t know exactly what to say about Tony, because this whole show was for Tony. Everything. The opening number, the middle numbers, all the diamonds, all the musical instruments, all the conducting, all the improvisation was in his memory,” she said. “But if I know Tony well, I know that he would be real mad at me for being sad, so I couldn’t come out here and be sad.”
With that in mind, Gaga, who first collaborated with Bennett in 2011, explained that she decided to honor her late pal with a performance of his song, “Fly Me to the Moon.”
“I sung this song while Tony was still alive and I’m going to sing it now, even though he’s gone, ’cause he’ll never be gone,” she said. “Susan, this is for you. I’m going to get through it. I promise. I’ll never do it as well as Tony, but I’ll try.”
Thank you, Lady Gaga, for everything.