Tony Bennett: Gentleman, Singer, Doodler

Studio 360

This summer, TonyBennett is on tourwith Lady Gaga, provingthe 88-year-old singer still has some surprises up his sleeve. In this week's show, we reach back into the Studio 360 archives for our 2003 interview with the American music legend.

Back in the spring of 2003, when Studio 360 was still new, our big guest "gets" were especially exciting and gratifying. Such as Susan Sontag, who'd been into discuss the meanings and ramifications of war, just as the one in Iraq was beginning. And such as Tony Bennett--- pretty much Sontag's opposite, except for his civilityand kindness and age--- who arrived one day in May.

I was still pretty new to the radio-interview thing, so my questions tended to ramble. Whereas Tony Bennett was an old hand at answering, as well as famously and deeply chill, which meant that he could multi-task. (Here's how long ago the spring of 2003 is: the adjective chill and the verb multi-task were new and fresh.) Anyhow, for the last half of the interview he was doodling. Fine. I knew he had a sideline as a painter. But when we finished our conversation, he shocked me by handing over his doodle: a portrait of this yammering stranger sitting across the table from him.

Bennett draws Kurt
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