Episode #49

Danny Bennett

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Monday, September 02, 2013

Danny Bennett has spent the past thirty years managing the career of his dad, Tony Bennett and has produced a film following his father's life entitled The Zen of Bennett. It was Danny who helped bring his dad’s music to a younger generation, through appearances on SNL, The Simpsons, and Late Night with Conan O’Brianand the series of Duets albums, which feature Tony Bennett singing with the likes of Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand and Amy Winehouse. Duets II debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making Tony Bennett—at 85 years old—the oldest living artist to do so. As Danny says, “I don’t just handle a career, I manage a legacy.” Last year Danny produced a film called The Zen of Bennett, which followed his dad throughout the recording of the Duets II album.

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [16]


So does anyone think that maybe someone who makes repeated anti-gay comments does not belong on WNYC?

I think that he is a really excellent interviewer, except that he is a little too much on the side of the guests, and he does bring a different kind of guest and it is very good to listen to.

But I agree with Anderson Cooper that none of that would make any difference if Baldwin had repeatedly made racist or anti-semitic comments.

You can be an actor and if you are popular enough, can say what you want. Mel Gibson is proof of that. Although Michael Richards is not.

If you are an interviewer on serious subjects then I think a different standard applies.

Nov. 26 2013 02:24 PM
anne from San Francisco, CA

This is by far the best show on NPR right now. My PBS radio station, KQED in San Francisco, doesn't run this anymore. It is a very bad, inconsistent station to which I no longer listen because of their inability to recognize true excellence when they hear it. I am so happy to learn how easy it is to stream my former New York station! My contribution will be going back East from now on.

Nov. 23 2013 07:12 PM
Chris Hudlik from Shitty little town in Wisconsin

"Here's the Thing".........Alec, if I may call you by 1st name, I believe you've either missed your calling or it has truly yet to arrive. My point is you should have your cake and eat it to!! cut to the chase, on an earlier interview I believe you suggested you would rather just do what you truly desire than say to continue to make movies, sitcoms w/ rigorous schedules perhaps on west coast , etc., etc, etc.,correct. Well then, I believe you should take these intimate, wonderful one- on-ones, to a level that begs for not only your introspective voice/comments, but why not roll with your countenance....(your face is truly and always has been the price of admission, for what you convey w/it is priceless!! So dammit why not do a Late night Snyder, Cavitt , or perhaps ala the reverent Charlie Rose.........

A True Admirer, both my wife and I,
J. Christian Hudlik

Sep. 20 2013 05:04 PM
Cathi from California

Lazy Saturday. Thought I'd explore the world of podcasts on iTunes. Found Alec Baldwin's "Here's The Thing" and was immediately intrigue. I've not only been a fan since Knott's Landing and his subsequent work as a natural comic actor, but also regard him as a very eloquent speaker. As it turns out Alec is a natural as an Interviewer. Insightful, sincerely interested, educated on his subject, curious about the subject matter and respectful of differing views. I'm starting from the beginning and working my way up. Made it to Herb Alpert who was such a big part of my growing up thanks to my Mom's musical tastes. Fascinating. At first I felt guilty for sitting on my butt all day listening to these interviews but quickly reminded myself that I've been treated to a truly interesting and enjoyable day and it beats watching TV. Looking forward to catching up on the rest and following Alec's "Here's The Thing" for weeks to come. Great job Alec.

Sep. 15 2013 12:14 AM
Sharon Schoor from Calgary, Alberta Canada

I have loved listening to every interview Alec did and always looked forward to the next one. Two weeks seemed too long to wait. They are so intimate and he has such a gift for making every interviewee sound interesting. I have just learned that Alec will no longer be doing his podcasts. That makes me very sad. Surely, there must be a way to support this wonderful podcast.

Sep. 14 2013 10:14 AM

Danny Bennett interviewed as the business manager to Tony Bennett for Thirty Years. (Genius idea.)

This is another “impossible”, improbable and stellar interview submission by Mr. Baldwin.

There is some effort to avoid the salacious trivia that all humans are prone to; the LA years. But, Danny and Alec keep the ship moving on a compelling story about Art/Commerce, the sands of time vies pop music and young fans wanting what is New and Good! This caliber of insightful story-telling, during the era of Access Hollywood and all of its clones gorging our cable time-slots, is astonishing.

“Tony never sings the same song once.” He’s right there, every time. Says Danny Bennett.

The Business perceptions revealed in this interview and Tony Bennett’s personal journey as an artist are inspiring.

Alec gets Danny’s father/son dynamic being superseded by an insider/confidant relationship, early in Danny’s life as a good thing.

Of course, the Tony Bennett impersonations and riffs are Not to be missed.

Alec’s contribution to furthering our understanding of Art/Commerce in this interview surpasses what Baldwin accomplished with his Michael Douglas interview.

That was a very high bar that Alec set with the Michael Douglas interview.

(On a production note.)
I still feel Mary Ellen Matthews’ portrait of Baldwin, “Drag Queen Putting on Her Game-Face”, is a campy joke-portrait. This is not a bad-idea like Letterman wearing white socks with a very nice pinstriped suit on late-night TV bad. This is “the emperor has no clothes” SNL bad.

Sep. 13 2013 11:23 AM
Joan Hager from Massachuaetts

So interesting - Thank you so much

Sep. 06 2013 12:36 AM
Lynne from Seattle

LOVED YOUR INTERVIEW! I've been loving Tony Bennett in new ways, these days. Loved his recent book (what a history of his life with jazz greats). Your interview was wonderful! The icing on the cake is his Bill Evans recordings I discovered through his book. His best! Evans has long been a favorite jazz pianist, but never knew he was this perfection with Bennett!

Alec, get Tony for an interview.

Sep. 04 2013 10:41 PM
Teresa from Seattle from Seattle

Liked the interview with Tony Bennett's son, who sounds like his father a lot. Alec Baldwin did a good job with the radio interview. Nice voices, enjoyed listening and learning more about Tony Bennett.

Sep. 04 2013 01:11 AM
Jackie from Long Island

Danny & Tony Bennett - they've the stuff of a great partnership. Trust, knowing what's true, confidence to explore, and listening to each other. Great interview.

Sep. 03 2013 07:22 PM
Barbara MacMahon from TORONTO, Canada

Anything Alec Baldwin does always is a pleasure for me to see or hear.
Also it is wonderful listening to Danny Bennett. Except I wish he would
not use "like" so much.
Danny has the same humility as his wonderful amazing Father - Tony -
You three Men are truly amazing! It is an honour to listen to you both.
Alec - "you were at TIFF about four years ago", while taking the escalator
in the 4 Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Canada, I was standing behind you - (dying to hear your wonderful voice)" - I touched your shoulder and said Hi,
Son I didn't know you were in town"? You turned around and gave me that marvelous smile" that made my day - week!!!!! Thanks Alec. Actually my son Peter look a lot like you.
Take care, God Bless, Barbara MacMahon-Firestone.

Sep. 03 2013 03:51 PM

We had an issue with an audio upload, which prevented podcasts downloads for a brief period of time. We think the issue is fixed now - but please let us know if you have problems.

Sep. 03 2013 09:32 AM

All good now, thank you..

Sep. 02 2013 10:02 PM
Aaron from Wisconsin

Love listening to these amazing shows. They're great! Link above is not working though. Can't download to my iPhone.

Sep. 02 2013 06:19 PM
Eric from Brooklyn

Having trouble downloading this on my iPhone. Download link above not working.

Sep. 02 2013 06:12 PM

Great show. Look forward to Alec's interviews...well done.
Unable to download this week's episode from itunes.

Sep. 02 2013 01:03 PM

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