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Celebrated radio host Dick Golden first met Tony Bennett in 1964, and they remained exceptionally close until the singer’s death this past summer. “One thing that really exasperated Tony,” Golden explained, “was when people used calculations to measure how many dollars were made on a song. ‘How many records did it sell?’ It’s not the litmus test of great art, or the lens to see it through.”
Featured in the Winter 2023 issue of Brilliant Corners, this interview with Golden focuses on his relationship with the revered singer, including the making of the book Tony Bennett: Onstage and in the Studio (co-written by both men) and Golden’s liner notes for Tony Bennett: Complete Recordings.
Tony never boasted of the amazing accomplishment he achieved on record, on stage, or in the art studio, but this moment was different: He seemed so content and satisfied with the results of his portrait.”
Golden also provides an essay on the cover art: Bennett’s portrait of Duke Ellington, now owned by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. When Bennett was close to completing the painting, he called Golden to express his happiness with the work. “In all the years we were friends,” Golden writes, “Tony never boasted of the amazing accomplishment he achieved on record, on stage, or in the art studio, but this moment was different: He seemed so content and satisfied with the results of his portrait.”
In addition to the Golden interview and essay, the Winter 2023 issue of Brilliant Corners features poems by Betsy Sholl (author of 10 books and former Poet Laureate of Maine), Richard Jackson (winner of Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright fellowships), Bruce Bond (author of 35 books and recipient of many national awards), and Michael Waters (winner of a Guggenheim fellowship and five Pushcart Prizes). Ira Sadoff provides both a poem about the trumpeter Clifford Brown and an essay in tribute to the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic, a founding Brilliant Corners board member and Sadoff’s beloved friend.
Brilliant Corners is a biannual journal that highlights an exceptional collection of literature and art pertaining to jazz. Founded in 1996, the journal bears strong ties to Lycoming College, with Sascha Feinstein, Ph.D., Robert L. and Charlene Shangraw Professor of English at Lycoming College, who serves as the managing editor, and Gary R. Hafer, Ph.D., John P. Graham Teaching Professor of English at Lycoming College, who serves as the production design editor. The publication is funded in part by the College, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and private endowments.
A subscription costs $12 per year ($18 for international orders), and checks or money can be sent to Brilliant Corners, Lycoming College, 1 College Place, Williamsport, PA 17701. More information can be found at www.lycoming.edu/BrilliantCorners or on Brilliant Corners’ Facebook page.