—From “Tony Bennett: Better Than Ever” by John Daly, from the January/February 1995 issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Tony Bennett finds it encouraging that listeners and record executives alike are beginning to rebel against marketing stereotypes and the “big score” philosophy that has driven record companies since the 1960s. After the Beatles, he said, record companies only wanted blockbuster albums that could sell millions of copies. In his own case, he severed his contract with Columbia Records in the early 1970s because they wanted him to sing rock songs. “They wanted me to sing Janis Joplin,” Bennett said. “I told them, ‘You do it.’” He rejoined Sony/Columbia in 1986 and says the company has given him complete freedom to record the standards that he loves. And looking ahead, that is exactly what he intends to keep on doing. “The myth has always been that after 35, you start to go downhill,” Bennett said. “Well, I had very good teachers. They taught me well how to preserve my voice.”
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