Word this week that Al Martino died at 82 in his hometown of South Philadelphia may have led to the assumption that he'd been infirm or had returned home for his final days. So it was a surprise to read in his New York Times obituary that he was active and working and stepping out and recording until the very end:
"Mr. Martino, whose career spanned five decades, fell backstage on Oct. 3 while acting as M.C. of a concert on Staten Island... He had canceled a performance for a television broadcast of the Columbus Day parade in New York. But on Monday he was in a studio recording songs for an album...
"After leaving the studio Monday evening, Mr. Martino and his wife headed back to Philadelphia and had dinner at an Italian restaurant with Jerry Blavat, a Philadelphia radio and television personality.
“'He was in tip-top shape,' Mr. Blavat said on Tuesday. 'I got the call and I said, "That’s impossible, I had dinner with him last night.”'""...The last song Mr. Martino recorded on Monday... was Garth Brooks's 'If Tomorrow Never Comes.'"