Merry Christmas — Happy Birthday

Tony Martin celebrates his 95th birthday on Christmas day. No birthday party for him, but some friends are toasting him at dinner on Wednesday evening.

When I spoke to him today, he was working with a piano tuner in his condo. He’s tuning up for his return engagement at Feinstein’s in the Regency Jan. 13. He’s rehearsing songs he’ll be singing: “new ones and old ones,” he said. “But they mostly want to hear the old ones, like ‘Begin The Beguine,’ ‘There’s No Tomorrow’ and ‘Maria’.”

Of course this is also a sad time for Tony, he said softly as he recalled the loss of his wife Cyd Charisse earlier this year. We wished him well for the new year — and many more play dates. There’s no voice like Tony Martin’s. Nor nicer a person.

Happy holidays to you all — I’ll see you in 2009.

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