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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Category Archives: Singers

Thanks to an e-mail from my friend, “Dr. Tim,” I now have this song stuck in my head like a ’74 Chevy sinking in the mud. I believe this was a deliberate attack on his part to purposely deposit it in my brain so it would keep playing over and over and over, as it […]

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Jack Carter had a reputation as being one of the more miserable men in show business. He was, what you might call, a chronic complainer. He never felt he was as appreciated as he should be. According to Mr. Carter, he could do it all! Here’s a clip that I think confirms that indeed he […]

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I read a quote this afternoon from best-selling suspense novelist Scott Turow that addressed a concern I’ve expressed more than once during this baseball postseason. Turow wrote, “It’s character-building, when the Cubs stomp on your heart, and you have to put it back in your chest,” he says. “What will it be like for all […]

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Frank Sinatra’s 1965 Reprise album entitled September of My Years, with arrangements by Gordon Jenkins, has long been one of my very favorite Sinatra albums. Even when I was in my early teens, I would sing along with great conviction to this collection of songs that were all about growing older and looking back. While […]

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It was 40 years ago today that Frank Sinatra brought “a friend” out onto the Sahara stage in Las Vegas during the wee small hours of Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon. Frank had just finished singing and was laying some checks on Jerry and when they finished with the money transfers Frank said […]

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Hal Linden a couple of times in the past few weeks. In addition to being a very nice man, he’s incredible talented. Most people will remember him as the Solomon-like Capt. Barney Miller, chief of the detectives at the 12th Precinct in Lower Manhattan, from the ABC TV show […]

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Today marks the 90th birthday of the quintessential lounge singer Armando “Buddy” Greco. Greco is one of those guys who I knew very little about when I began my radio show 16 years ago. Originally, my show was “a celebration of the Italian American influence on the Great American Songbook.” Which basically means I was […]

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In keeping with our celebration of Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday this week, I thought we’d kick off the weekend with Tony and some friends singing and swinging!! Here’s a great clip from a Dean Martin Show in the 1960s.   I have no idea who this young guy is introducing Tony Bennett and Billy Joel. Hah! Here’s one […]

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Today we wish a very Happy 90th Birthday to Tony Bennett. He has achieved the impossible. In a society that increasingly worships youth, inexperience and banality, Tony Bennett continues to stem the tide and collect new fans, accolades and honors for his continued good taste and artistry. Tony Bennett was born Anthony Benedetto in Astoria, […]

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Born Yesterday is a wonderful play written by a fellow native of my hometown of Rochester, NY, Garson Kanin. As well-written as the play is, it owes its great success to the marvelously talented Judy Holliday who would have been 95 years old today. She brought a special kind of native intelligence to “the dumb blonde” […]

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