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Connick's version

December 08, 2007

KEN EHRLICH recalls an incident at the 1991 Grammys of which I have no knowledge ["Backstage at Grammys With a Man in the Know," by Geoff Boucher, Dec. 5]. What I do recall, although it has been 17 years, is that Mr. Ehrlich designed a segment on the show for a performance by my big band, to be followed by Tony Bennett's trio. Upon learning of this, I asked whether it would be musically wise (and disrespectful of Mr. Bennett) to ask him to perform with a trio after the blasts of 13 horns in a big band and suggested that it might make sense musically to reverse the order of the two bands.

While I was prepared to defer to Mr. Ehrlich, I asked my manager if we could revisit this after the rehearsals because it was important to me that Mr. Bennett be given his due. As it turned out, I was just plain wrong, and I realized that it did not matter one bit if Mr. Bennett performed either before or after a big band (in fact, his trio was accompanied by strings for the show). After the rehearsals we immediately told Mr. Ehrlich that the show order he suggested was fine, but he declined to make any changes.

At the time I thought that he was just agreeing with my previously stated concern. I learned for the first time in your paper that he had a totally different understanding of the situation. Although we have had other interactions over the years, Mr. Ehrlich never once shared his understanding of this matter, either with me directly or with my manager.

I certainly regret that this misunderstanding has lingered for so long. My primary concern in writing is to make sure that Mr. Bennett was not himself misled.

Harry Connick Jr.

New York

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