The late, great Tony Bennett is the last of his golden era. The last of the crooners that captivated America for more than a century.

New Jersey’s own Frank Sinatra called Bennett the greatest crooner of all time.

We painstakingly went through Tony Bennett’s concert schedule from August 21,2002 through March 11, 2020, which appears to be the last time that Tony Bennett performed in New Jersey.

The 8/21/2002 show took place at The Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Bennett’s final New Jersey performance of his career was on 3/11/2020, at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, in Red Bank, New Jersey.

I had the privilege to meet and spend some quality time with Mr. Bennett a number of years ago. I was in his private dressing lounge with the late Ed Hurst and Brother Don … immediately following his performance.

The words that come to mind about what type of man Tony Bennett was are … kind, elegant, humble and very engaging.

Mr. Bennett asked me if I had any questions for him. I had only one and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to pose it:

”Mr. Bennett, you’ve done it all. Is there any goal that you are still striving to achieve”?

Mr. Bennett said … “That’s a great question and I’m going to answer it. I want to be able to sing as well or better at age 100 … than I did when I was 40 years old.”

What an answer, from a man who had absolutely nothing to prove and had already achieved every award and accolade in his business.

Harry Hurley Collection.
Harry Hurley Collection.

Tony Bennett also never forgot his friends. For example, time and time again … he publicly thanked Ed Hurst for being the first person to play his music on the radio.

And, in my presence … with Ed Hurst right there to hear it … Mr. Bennett said it, again.

During the past more than two decades, Mr. Bennett appeared in New Jersey at least 30 times.

Mr. Bennett performed in Pennsylvania at least 19 times.

Most of Mr. Bennett’s New Jersey performances were held at several Atlantic City Casinos … Caesar’s, Harrah’s and Bally’s, along with Borgata.

Tony Bennett first performed at Resorts' Superstar Theater on JULY 23 to JULY 28, 1979. His weekday showtimes were at 11pm. His Saturday shows were at 7:15pm and 11pm. Ticket prices ranged from $15 to $25 with two drink minimum!

How about those show times and ticket prices!

Mr. Bennett also appeared in the late 1990's early 2000's at The Tropicana Atlantic City, where he also did CD signings in The Tropicana VIP Club for high end customers.

Tom Cantone also booked Tony Bennett a number of times in Atlantic City and at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Connecticut.

About Mr. Bennett, Cantone said:

“Sad to lose an American Treasure. They are leaving us now every day it seems,” said Cantone.

“I booked him 17 times at Mohegan 2 times at Foxwoods, 26 times total starting from our days in Atlantic City. He was a good friend, kind and nice to be around. My crews loved him and so did our Casino players who came in sellout numbers every time.”

“When my daughter was only 2, he held her in his arms … that was her very first celebrity picture. A memory for life and millions more he entertained,” said Cantone.

Below (left to right) are “The 3 T’s” … Tessa (age 2), Tom and Tony … on February 20, 2009.

Tom Cantone photo.
Tom Cantone photo.

Michael Bublé and Josh Groban will now have to bear the weight of carrying “The Great American Songbook” for future generations to enjoy.

It won’t be an easy task.

Atlantic City's Firsts Throughout History

Steel Pier


More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM