Feinstein is a master of cabaret music, who is best-known for his interpretation of songs by the Gershwins and Irving Berlin. Grammy-winning composer Jimmy Webb has a long string of hits to his credit, including "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Up, Up and Away." His songs have been recorded by everyone from Tony Bennett to R.E.M.
Now Feinstein and Webb have combined their talents on a new CD, "Only One Life." The dropped by The Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café to perform some songs for the new album.
Here's what Michael Feinstein told us in a telephone interview before the duo appeared on the The Saturday Early Show:
How did this collaboration with you and Jimmy [Webb] come about?
We met through Rosemary Clooney in 1989. We became fast friends because we shared the same love of music. He sent me some tapes of songs that were fantastic. And back in 1989, we talked about doing a CD together. We finally decided to start on it three years ago. We took our time and got it right.
You've worked with so many people over the years. What was it like working with Jimmy Webb?
It was very relaxed. He's become like a brother to me. He's a brilliant guy. He has wit and he has the heart of a poet. I love his perspective on life. I never know what he's going to say or do. As a writer, he started writing songs at the age of 15. His first hit was "Up and Up and Away" at age 16. His songs have been sung by everyone - Cher, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt, etc.
What can your fans expect on this CD?
High quality vocals and music (laughter).
How did you decide which songs to perform?
It was very difficult choosing. He has so many different kinds of songs. It was a lengthy process. We both decided, though.
Will There Be A Tour?
Yes, we are doing a 12-city tour. We are both singing and both playing. We have two pianos on stage. It will be a lot of fun.
Do you like touring?
Yes I do. I love live performing, going to different cities and meeting new folks.
Out of everyone you've worked with, who had the most impact on you?
Rosemary Clooney was my mentor, my favorite singer, and my second mother.