Tony Bennett might have left his coronary heart in San Francisco, however he left a legacy of affection in his native New York City.
The late Italian-American crooner actually stood up for fellow New Yorker Tony Danza.
“He gave me my first rise up job,” Danza advised The Post on Friday, following Bennett’s demise simply two weeks earlier than his 97th birthday.
“The first time I ever obtained as much as do rise up and somewhat faucet dancing, was opening for him in Hawaii. I used to be so dangerous, and he was so good to me.”
Bennett used to sing on the Copacabana on East sixtieth Street, the place mobster Frank Costello was a associate.
“Godfather” actor Gianni Russo, who was Costello’s “private errand boy,” recalled the primary time he met Bennett on the famed nightclub in 1959.
“I used to be 16. I used to be there for all of the band rehearsals. He was so good to me,” mentioned Russo, who lives on the Upper East Side.
They reconnected when Russo’s and Bennett’s bands performed on the Rainbow Room for General Electric’s vacation celebration — and their paychecks that night have been very completely different.
“They paid me $25,000 and I discovered later they obtained $250,000,” he mentioned. “I’m saying to myself, ‘I obtained the tax on it.’”
Bennett, who grew up in Astoria, Queens, lived at 100 Central Park South, and was an everyday on the Brooklyn Diner on West 57th.
“He was the sweetest, nicest man you’d ever wish to socially spend a few hours with. There couldn’t be a nicer New York form of a man,” mentioned the restaurant’s proprietor Shelly Fireman.
“It’s unhappy for America; it’s unhappy for New York and we’re going to overlook him rather a lot.”
He was so revered on the eatery that they named a sales space after him and a menu merchandise of his selecting — Tony Bennett’s Famous Thick-Cut Cinnamon, Raisin & Pecan French Toast.
“I don’t wish to take his title off the French toast,” Fireman mentioned. “I wish to honor him without end.”
Gerard Renny, who owned Lucky’s Bar and Grill on 57th Street and Sixth Avenue, the place Bennett — who was additionally a gifted painter — was a frequent diner, recalled one in every of his sort gestures.
When Renny’s spouse was pregnant, he purchased her one in every of Bennett’s work of a Las Vegas cityscape, since they obtained married there.
“When he discovered I purchased that, at some point I present up and my supervisor palms me an envelope and it’s an autographed photograph thanking me and wishing me all the very best for the infant,” he mentioned.
Renny, who now owns Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food on the Upper East Side, mentioned Bennett would at all times go to the now shuttered Lucky’s within the morning for oatmeal.
“He thought oatmeal was good for his ldl cholesterol. So he would are available a pair occasions every week,” he mentioned. “I assume there was one thing to the oatmeal factor as a result of he lived ’til 96.”
Former TV anchor Bill Boggs lived a block away from Bennett, and interviewed him 4 occasions in his profession. His mom was a giant fan of the singer, so he took her to his live performance, the place they met him backstage.
“Tony and my mom had a fulsome dialog,” Boggs recalled.
“And I might say, with out query, each time I noticed Tony Bennett for the following most likely 15 years, earlier than he began to lose his reminiscence, most likely 10 or 12 occasions, the primary query he would ask me was, ‘How’s your mom?’”