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"Bernie's Tune": A Playlist for the Late Great Tony Curtis

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I met the man born Bernard Schwartz, the son of a tailor from the Bronx who went on to be one of Hollywood's biggest stars ever, only once. I was backstage at the arena of the MGM in Las Vegas around the turn of the 21st century waiting to interview Paul McCartney who was getting reading to go onstage. I found myself in a waiting room with Eric Burdon of the Animals fame -- already a thrill for me -- when in walked Tony Curtis with his significantly younger wife.

Even in this star-studded context, it was stunning to see this genuine Hollywood legend up close in the flesh and blood, even though at my age, I loved his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis from afar first. Tony seemed very nice and quite happy to be seeing Paul McCartney -- just like the rest of us. But what was amazing was how fabulously excited Paul McCartney was to talk to Tony Curtis. Paul later explained to me what a massive fan he was of Tony Curtis growing up, and that this man was one of the greatest and biggest movie stars of all-time. Lest we forget, he was all that, and I'm thankful I got to be in Tony's Fab presence even that one memorable time.

RIP Tony Curtis, and Bernie Schwartz too.

BERNIE'S TUNE - Art Pepper
SOME LIKE IT HOT - Marilyn Monroe
LOVE AND MARRIAGE - Frank Sinatra
REAL GOOD LOOKING BOY - The Who
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS - Elmer Bernstein
MARY'S PRAYER - Meet Danny Wilson
BRONX BLUES - Stan Getz and the Oscar Peterson Trio
HOLLYWOOD - Jay-Z
VIVA LAS VEGAS - Elvis Presley
EVER PRESENT PAST - Paul McCartney
DON'T MAKE WAVES - The Byrds
SOME LIKE IT HOT - Power Station
DEFIANT - Brian Eno & David Byrne
YOU CAN'T WIN 'EM ALL - Levon Helm
BOSTON STRANGLER - Mourningside
YOU BET YOUR LIFE - Rush
HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS - Bob Seger
IN THE NAVY - The Village People
HUSBANDS AND WIVES - Neil Diamond
IT NEVER RAINS (IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) - Tony! Toni! Tone!
SUPERSTAR - Usher
THIS IS YOUR LIFE - The Killers
SOME LIKE IT HOT - Dennis Brown
THAT'S LIFE - Frank Sinatra