I left my art in San Francisco: Tony Bennett interviewed – archive, January 1972

15 January 1972: In London to record a television series, Bennett talks about his musical career as well as a love of art

Tony Bennett, an entertainer described by Frank Sinatra (an egocentric not noted for the lavishness of his public assessments of rival talents) as “the greatest ballad singer of them all,” last week signed a form which made him a Friend of the Tate Gallery. I happened to be present at this event, having been invited to observe Mr Bennett while being photographed for a television series, the format of which is centred upon his amiable art, entitled This Is Music.

It was an eye-opener. For more years than I care to remember, I have found myself at the receiving end of Mr Bennett’s voice. Not only have I left my heart (and more besides) in San Francisco, I have listened lonely to the pops on acoustically dubious transistors in motels and dumps and dives and flophouses and presidential suites in alien places the world over, as well as on long drives when the car radio was my sole contact between isolation and the world of public events.

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