Lady Gaga

Tony Bennett still thrives at 85

There are some veteran singers, I'm sure, whose voices are just a fraction of their prime.

Not Tony Bennett. When he sang to the Television Critics Association recently, everything -- his voice, his phrasing, his back-up quartet -- was precise. At 85, this guy remains a strong talent.

Many people can sample that on Friday, when Bennett has a "Duets" special on PBS' "Great Performances." Here's the story I sent to papers:




A good "SNL"; go figure

Now we know why "Saturday Night Live" was so bad last week: It was saving all its best stuff for tonight's finale.

With two exceptions -- oddly, the opening and closing sketches -- "SNL" was terrific throughout. And Justin Timberlake was, as usual, the ideal host. He appeared in most sketches and -- without being the music guest -- sang three times, once inside a beer-bottle costume.

A night at the Grammys

What can you say of a night in which Lady Gaga was more subtle and sedate than many others?

There she was, with Elton John -- remember when one could be flamboyant merely by wearing big glasses and a sparkly sportcoat? -- and a cast of dozens. It was a rousing Grammy-opener, but other numbers would soon be even bigger.

There was Green Day with a Broadway-bound cast. And a nearly naked pink, swirling around Cirque du Soleil style. And Jamie Foxx and others with a pseudo-opera intro. And robots and soldiers and much more.