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.