Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Modest Proposal

[The following is a letter I have sent to Tony Bennett's management. I'd love to see this happen.]

Dear Ms. Weiner:

I'm hoping you can get this idea in front of either Tony or Danny Bennett, as I think it's got some incredible potential.

Tony Bennett's legacy has now spanned two centuries, and he continually gains new generations of fans. He's a respected interpreter of some great American songwriters, but I've noticed that even on his newest album, he's still going back to the well from the pre-rock era. There is, however, one American songwriter that I don't believe he's ever covered, and that's Tom Waits.

Just the first two Waits albums, Closing Time (1973) and The Heart Of Saturday Night (1974), are full of songs that would be a tremendous fit for Mr. Bennett's voice, from saloon songs to snappy jazz. And further into the Waits catalog are even more songs that would do justice to his talent, and vice versa; "Tom Traubert's Blues", "Foreign Affair", "Kentucky Avenue", "Ruby's Arms", "Take It With Me" and "Time" are just the first handful that come to mind. (Hey, if he even wants to tackle the likes of "Cemetery Polka", "16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six" or "Pasties & A G-String", more power to him.)

I am not a salesman or an entrepreneur, just a music fan and writer. This idea came to me from a discussion years ago with a friend, and as time goes on I'm amazed that nobody else has suggested it. I'm sure that if you asked his friend Elvis Costello, even he would agree that "Bennett Sings Waits" would be a hit. (Just don't let him take credit for the idea, unless he's already suggested it, in which case what are we waiting for?)

Thank you for your time and consideration. I'd love to hear even one song in this vein, and certainly before Barry Manilow does it first.

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