Two for Tuesday: Bette Midler

I remember watching Bette Midler’s debut on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1972. He seemed pretty excited about her, and I understood why after I heard her sing. Up to that point, she had been singing at the Continental Baths in New York City, with Barry Manilow as her accompanist, so this was her first shot at “the big time.” And she made the most of it. Today she has thirteen studio albums and 39 singles behind her, and an extensive résumé of film and TV appearances, including her TV series Bette, which never really took off but which had some hilarious moments.

Bette’s first single was 1972’s “Do You Wanna Dance?” A downtempo cover of Bobby Freeman’s 1958 hit, Bette reached #1 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart and #18 on their Top 100, while reaching #8 on the US AC chart and #17 on the Hot 100.

Bette was Johnny Carson’s final guest on The Tonight Show in 1992, and sang “One More For My Baby” as her last song on that show. Here’s that performance.

Bette Midler, your Two for Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

12 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Bette Midler

  1. I have written in the past about Bette Midler and her beginnings, too. John she is a fascinating and entertaining woman. She gave a lot of herself over the years to perform for the USO troops, also. I have a column on my right side of my full edition of my blog, there would be her name among them! 🙂


  2. I love Bette. She is who she is, I LOVED her in the Rose and only someone with very special talent could have made that look believable. I’ve seen snippets of her Vegas act, and she can be pretty…uh, suggestive. That’s one of the things I like about her.


    1. And if I remember correctly, she’s tamed that aspect of her show down over the years. There are things you can get away with in a gay bath house that you can’t get away with in Vegas, if you can imagine that…


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