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Tony Bennett earns standing ovation after Keith Albee performance

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Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon
Tony Bennett kicked off the beginning of the 80th Marshall Artists Series Thursday night.

People of all ages filled the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center as Tony Bennett kicked off the beginning of the 80th season of the Marshall Artists Series Thursday night.

“I love performing at college campuses as it’s a diverse group of students and faculty as well as the citizens of the surrounding area,” Bennett said. “I have been fortunate that I have a very intelligent and thoughtful audience who want to hear the very best songs that have ever been written from the Great American Songbook, which was the golden age of songwriting.”

Several people came out to introduce the legendary singer, including Marshall University’s president Jerome Gilbert, co-president of the Keith Albee Robert Plymale and an audio recording of Frank Sinatra.

Bennett sang some of his top hits, including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Rags to Riches” and “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Bennett also continuously praised his band throughout the event.

Before the concert began, Plymale spoke about ongoing renovations at the Keith Albee. During the concert, Bennett said he hoped the renovations were minor because the theater has great acoustics and was one of the best theaters in the world. He then concluded with “Fly Me to The Moon” without a microphone that gained a standing ovation.

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Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon

Bennett left the stage after bowing and coming back to wave goodbye multiple times. When asked about advice to college students, he had a few words to say.

“Try if at all possible to do something you are passionate about as it will always inspire you,” Bennett said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be your career, it can be a hobby that you do outside of work, whatever you love to do.  I feel it’s very important to keep something in your life that you have a true authentic love for in whatever capacity that is possible.”

The next event in the Marshall Artists Series will be Saturday, Oct. 8. Comedian Lewis Black will bring his “The Emperor’s New Clothes — The Naked Truth Tour” to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m.

Krislyn Holden can be contacted at [email protected]

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