tv 60 Minutes CBS January 30, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
and ford. we go further, so you can. >> tonight, on "60 minutes presents," an hour of music. ♪ i left my heart... ♪ >> tony bennett's been singing and swinging for 70 years. now, at 95, he's struggling with dementia, but as we saw when we spent time with him, not even alzheimer's could stop this legend from getting back on stage with his friend lady gaga and putting on what may be his last and best performance ever. ♪ steppin' out with my baby can't go wrong 'cause i'm in right ♪ ( ticking )
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> as often as we hear bands play, we rarely glimpse bands at work; much less the biggest band that ever was. well, teleport to 1969, and meet the beatles. ♪ ♪ ♪ director peter jackson went deep, sifting through dozens of hours of never-before-seen film, allowing the world an intimate look at the beatles in studio, and an intimate listen to every conversation. >> left his home in tucson, arizona. ( ticking ) ♪ ♪ ♪ >> new orleans has been quieter than normal during the pandemic. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ but, musicians find a way. tonight, we introduce you to new orleans' self-proclaimed "best band in the land," so you could hear them, and their story. >> thank you. at ease for a second.
( ticking ) cranky-pated: a bad mood related to a sluggish gut. miralax is different. it works naturally with the water in your body to unblock your gut. free your gut, and your mood will follow. your shipping manager left to “find themself.” leaving you lost. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. indeed instant match instantly delivers quality candidates
matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire [door creaking, footsteps] ♪ ♪if you ever♪ ♪hear that thunder, put your eye♪ ♪to the sky, boy, and wonder♪ ♪maybe there's a kingdom above the weather♪ ♪oh, and whether you're gonna get on in♪ ♪is up to him♪ ♪carry onward♪ ♪like some songbird, beautiful stranger♪ ♪
(naj) at fisher investments, our clients know we have their backs. ♪like some songbird, beautiful stranger♪ (other money manager) how do your clients know that? (naj) because as a fiduciary, it's our responsibility to always put clients first. (other money manager) so you do it because you have to? (naj) no, we do it because it's the right thing to do. we help clients enjoy a comfortable retirement. (other money manager) sounds like a big responsibility. (naj) one that we don't take lightly. it's why our fees are structured so we do better when our clients do better. fisher investments is clearly different. why do people who live with generalized myasthenia gravis want a new treatment option? because we want to be able to get up and get ready for work. because the animals need to be cared for, and we like taking care of them. because we want to go out to dinner with our friends. because, in family photos, we want to be able to smile. a new fda-approved treatment for adults with generalized myasthenia gravis could help them do more of the daily activities
they care about. to learn more, go to now4gmg.com and talk to your neurologist. go tannouncer:com how do you connect with someone who's living with alzheimer's? both (harmonizing): ♪ i've got you... ♪ you don't have to be a living legend. resources are available. for everyone. >> alfonsi: good evening. i'm sharyn alfonsi. welcome to "60 minutes presents." tomorrow's grammy awards may have been postponed, but we have an hour of music sure to leave a song in your heart. we'll join the beatles, as they prepare for their final public concert on a london rooftop; and then hear a very different kind of band, marching through the streets of new orleans. but we begin with another look at anderson cooper's poignant portrait of the legendary tony bennett. when tony bennett's family
announced he had alzheimer's disease last february, few of the 94-year-old singer's fans imagined they'd ever see him on stage again. but this past summer, with his family's help, he began rehearsing for two concerts at radio city music hall, with his friend lady gaga. no one knew for sure if tony would be able to pull it off, but his family believed that tony's story could give hope to others struggling with alzheimer's, and invited anderson cooper and a "60 minutes" crew to follow him, preparing for what would likely be his final act. ♪ i left my heart in san francisco ♪ swinging jazz... ♪ high on a hill ♪ >> cooper: ...for seven decades. but for tony, now, those years are a dim memory, lost in the fog of dementia from
alzheimer's. he spends much of his time in his new york apartment looking through books and old photos. what are these of? we met tony and his wife susan in june, a few weeks before his 95th birthday. is that bob hope? >> tony bennett: bob and dolores. >> susan benedetto: they sent that for your 75th birthday. and in a month and a half, you're going to be 95. ( laughs ) how about that? >> tony bennett: it's amazing. ( laughter ) >> cooper: do you feel 95? you don't look it. >> susan benedetto: how old do you feel, tone? >> tony bennett: 95. ( laughter ) >> cooper: tony has his good moments-- but susan has to do most of the talking. she says he first grew concerned about his memory six years ago. >> susan benedetto: we came home one night, and he said, "susan," he said, "i'm having a hard time remembering the names of the musicians." and-- >> cooper: the musicians he was playing with? >> susan benedetto: yeah, on s-- who he works with all the time. and so, it was unusual. and i said, "well, do you want to go see a doctor about it?" and he said, "i do." >> cooper: did you know right aay that it was alzheimer's? >> dr. gayatri devi: yeah.
>> cooper: dr. gayatri devi is tony's neurologist. she diagnosed him in 2017. >> cooper: do you know what is happening in-- in tony's brain? >> dr. devi: no one really knows. but i know that his hippocampus, which is the grand central station of memories-- and the conduit through which we retrieve memories, as well as lay down memories-- is not working very well. >> susan benedetto: look at this, tone. >> tony bennett: wow, what's that? >> susan benedetto: that's a painting that you did. >> cooper: susan and tony have been together for more than 30 years. she's now his full-time caregiver. how much does tony understand about what's going on around him at any given time? >> susan benedetto: every day is different. tony-- late at night, sometimes early in the morning, he's more alert, if i can use that word. so, i'll tell him, "tone, you're going to be on '60 minutes'." he's, like, "great." i said, "you remember that show, '60 minutes'?" he's, like, "i do." but in any other given moment, he won't know. >> cooper: i mean, he recognizes you. >> susan benedetto: he recognizes me, thank goodness. his children, you know.
we are blessed in a lot of ways. he's very sweet. he doesn't know he has it. >> cooper: he doesn't know he has alzheimer's. >> susan benedetto: nuh-uh. >> cooper: what he does know is that he's at home, not performing on stage. he'd continued to sing after his diagnosis... but the pandemic took him off the road. susan says it's been hard on him. >> susan benedetto: it was gayatri devi, our doctor, who said, "if he wants to sing, let him sing, because that's the best thing for him." you know, all the meds and all the treatments they do to stimulate your brain, for him, there's nothing more stimulating than performing. >> cooper: tony's oldest son and manager, danny bennett, came up with the idea of the radio city concerts in august with lady gaga. it was broadcast on cbs this fall. >> danny bennett: the pandemic was a big-- ( sighs ) it was a big thing for me. like, an... ending his career on-- on that note... >> cooper: it couldn't end that way. >> danny bennett: couldn't end that way. after all that he'd-- he did. ♪ oh, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing ♪ >> cooper: tony and lady gaga released their first album together in 2014.
♪ doo-wa, doo-wa, doo-wa i've got you under my skin ♪ >> cooper: in 2018, he was able to record another album with her, which was released late last year. by june, however, his disease had progressed, and susan told us she wasn't sure exactly what would happen at the planned radio city concert. >> susan benedetto: how you doing, handsome? >> tony bennett: okay. >> susan benedetto: you want to look over here at me? ( laughs ) (♪ piano ♪) >> cooper: but when it was time to rehearse, something incredible happened. tony's accompanist, lee musiker, began playing, and suddenly, the legendary showman was back. ♪ let someone start believin' in you ♪ let him hold out his hand let him find you and watch what
happens! ♪ smile though your heart is aching ♪ smile even though it's breaking ♪ >> cooper: he had no notes, no cue cards. ♪ when there are clouds in the sky ♪ you'll get by ♪ >> cooper: we were amazed. all his old songs were somehow still there. he sang an hour-long set from memory. ♪ if you just smile... ♪ ( applause ) >> lee musiker: bravo, tony. >> tony bennett: thank you. >> cooper: that was incredible. you just start playing something and it's all there? >> musiker: when i start playing, tony is completely engaged. and this is a whole new performance, and new phrases, new nuance. nothing short of a miracle.
>> cooper: dr. gayatri devi explained how a transformation like that was possible. >> dr. devi: people respond differently depending on their strengths. in tony's case, it's his musical memory, his ability to be a performer. those are an innate and hard- wired part of his brain. so, even though he doesn't know what the day might be or where his apartment is, he still can sing the whole repertoire of the american songbook and move people. >> cooper: how does music stimulate the brain? >> dr. devi: it engages multiple different parts of the brain, right? so there's the auditory cortex for hearing. there is the part of the brain that deals with movement and dance. there is the visuast engsot' of like a whole brain activator. >> cooper: tony could remember the songs-- but could he remember how to perform them in front of thousands of people? lady gaga knew it wasn't going to be easy.
>> lady gaga: and you know, anderson, for the first couple of weeks that i saw tony since covid, he called me "sweetheart," but i wasn't sure he knew who i was. >> cooper: in rehearsals this july, she found new ways to connect and communicate with her old friend-- when asking him questions, she'd keep it simple. >> lady gaga: for example, if i were to say, "tony, would you like to sing 'love for sale'," he'll say, "yeah." and if i say, "tony, would you like to sing 'love for sale' or 'it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing'--" he might not have as easy of a response. do you want to sing "anything goes?" >> tony bennett: yeah. >> lady gaga: all right, great." anything goes," everybody! >> lady gaga: when that music comes on-- ( snaps ) it's-- something happens to him. he knows exactly what he's doing. and what's important for me, actually, just to make sure that i don't get in the way of that. >> cooper: on opening night in early august, radio city's 6,000 seats were sold out. it was tony's 95th birthday... >> crowd: ♪ happy birthday to
you ♪ >> cooper: ...and his fans were waiting. >> crowd: we love you, tony! >> cooper: lady gaga opened the show. backstage, susan did her best to remind tony what was happening. >> susan benedetto: we're going to watch lady gaga's set. >> tony bennett: right. >> susan benedetto: and then you're going to sing. okay? >> tony bennett: how many songs am i singing? >> susan benedetto: i'll tell you what you're going to sing. >> cooper: when it was time, they walked toward the stage together. then, the lights went out, and the curtain went up. >> tony bennett: wow! >> susan benedetto: well, once he saw the audience, and, you know, and he raises his hands, he's-- i knew we were all right, because he became himself. he just turned on. you know, it was like a light switch. ♪ let someone start believin' in you
♪ let him hold out his hand let him find you, and... watch what happens ♪ steppin' out with my baby can't go wrong cause i'm in ♪ right ask me when will that day be the ♪ big day may be tonight! this is all i ask ♪ >> cooper: there may have been a few missteps, but the crowd didn't care. it was tony's night, and the old crooner was in command. ♪ beautiful girls walk a little slower when you walk by me... ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> cooper: he sang more than a dozen songs, and got at least 20 standing ovations. >> tony bennett: should we keep going? ( cheers and applause ) wow! what a great audience. >> cooper: when it came time for
lady gaga to join him for some final duets, listen to what tony said as she appeared on stage: >> lady gaga: hey, tony! >> tony bennett: whoa, lady gaga! ( cheers and applause ) >> lady gaga: me, too. >> tony bennett: do it again. >> lady gaga: okay! that's the first time that tony said my name, in a long time. >> cooper: really, in all the weeks leading up to it, he hadn't said your name? wow. >> lady gaga: i had to keep it together, because we had a sold- out show, and i have a job to do. but i'll tell you, when i walked out on that stage, and he said, "it's lady gaga," my friend saw me. and it was very special. ♪ go to the opera and i stay wide awake ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> cooper: and at the end of the night, lady gaga was there to walk tony bennett off the stage one last time. >> lady gaga: it's the last thing that i said to tony, on stage, was-- "mr. bennett, it would be my honor if i could escort you off the stage." and he said, "okay." and i did. and, just simply being the woman that got to walk him off stage, that's enough for me. you were so amazing. >> tony bennett: the public loved it. >> lady gaga: they did! you were-- you were spectacular. everybody, mr. tony bennett! >> susan benedetto: i thought it was a triumph, really. it's, like-- you know, climbing mt. olympus, and he made it. >> cooper: a few days after that triumph, we met tony and susan on their daily walk in central park. how did you feel about the
concert the other night? >> tony bennett: i don't know what you mean. >> cooper: i saw you at radio city. you did a great job. >> tony bennett: oh, thank you very much. >> cooper: tony had no memory of playing radio city at all. is this a sad story, tony bennett's last performance? >> lady gaga: no. it's not a sad story. it's emotional. it's hard to watch somebody change. i think what's been beautiful about this, and what's been challenging, is to see how it affects him in some ways, but to see how it doesn't affect his talent. i think he really pushed through something to give the world the gift of knowing that things can change and you can still be magnificent. ♪ your golden sun will shine for me! ♪
( cheers and applause ) >> alfonsi: at 95 years old, tony bennett continues setting records. his album with lady gaga, released this past fall, is up for six grammy awards, including album of the year. he is the oldest performer ever nominated in that category. ( ticking ) >> anderson cooper on witnessing what was likely tony bennett's final act, at www.60minutesovertime.com, sponsored by cologuard. nothing like a weekend in the woods. it's a good choice all around, like screening for colon cancer... when caught in early stages it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive... and i detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers... even in early stages. early stages.
yep. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer, not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. we're in. for people who could use a lift new neutrogena® rapid firming. a triple-lift serum with pure collagen. 92% saw visibly firmer skin in just 4 weeks. neutrogena® for people with skin.
where it is absorbed to give you the benefits of life saving aspirin... to help prevent another heart attack or stroke. heart protection with your stomach in mind. try new liquid-filled vazalore. aspirin made amazing! >> alfonsi: it's january 1969, and the beatles are unrecognizable from the wide- eyed mop-tops who appeared on
the "ed sullivan show" just five years prior. their popularity is unrivalled. they've stopped touring, and fame is exacting its price. now comes a self-imposed stress: they've given themselves three weeks to record 14 songs that they'll play to a live audience, all the while trailed by cameras. the astonishingly intimate footage was recently extracted from a london vault and placed in the capable hands of filmmaker peter jackson. his resulting three-part documentary series, "get back," dropped last november on disney+. as jon wertheim reported at the time, it adds considerable light and joy to what was always considered to be the beatles' darkest period. you might say jackson took a sad song, and-- well, you know the rest. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> wertheim: often as we hear bands play, we rarely glimpse bands at work, much less the biggest band that ever was. well, teleport to 1969, and meet the beatles. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ you're the first person to look at this with fresh eyes in years and years. what was it like watching this footage? >> peter jackson: it was fascinating. and after 50 years, you'd have every right to believe that everything with the beatles had been talked about. every bit of film had been seen, every bit of music had been heard, that there was no more surprises with the beatles. >> wertheim: from his base in new zealand, director peter jackson took a break from directing big-budget studio films like "lord of the rings," and has spent the last four years hanging out with john, paul, george and ringo. >> jackson: suddenly, bang, out of nowhere comes this incredible treasure trove of fly-on-the- wall material, 52 years later. it still blows my mind.
it actually, honestly still blows my mind. >> paul mccartney: so how about, how about changing around these two, and when you sing "don't you know it's going to last," we sing, "it's a love that has no past." >> wertheim: so, give us some historical context here. under what circumstances was this footage shot? >> jackson: they've lost what they loved as teenagers. they've lost being the four guys playing in a band. so, they're going to record a new album with songs that only-- that they're only going to play live. and they're not going to do any studio tricks. there's going to be no multitracking. and they had to-- they had to figure out where and how they were going to perform to an audience. >> mccartney: bom, cha, bom-bom. >> wertheim: as the beatles wrote and rehearsed, they allowed a film crew to capture every riff, both on guitar and in conversation. >> mccartney: i mean, corny is all right in this one, because what he's doing is corny. but see, that's the thing that will make it not corny, is if we sing different words. so it's-- "i'm in love for the first time."
>> wertheim: the months'-worth of filming yielded only the forgettable 80-minute documentary, "let it be," released a year later, after the beatles broke up. a lifelong beatles fan, peter jackson had always wondered, what had happened to all those hours of unseen footage? >> jonathan clyde: so, here we are in vault number three. >> wertheim: his tolkien-like quest took him deep under the london headquarters of apple corps, the beatles' label. >> jackson: they just said, "we've got it all. we've got 57 hours of footage. we've got 130 hours of audio." and then they said that they were thinking about making a documentary using the footage. i just put up my hand and said, "well, if-- if you are looking for somebody to make it? don't-- please just-- think-- think of me." >> wertheim: back in new zealand, jackson began the ultimate binge-watch, screening this musical mother lode, frame by frame. given that any beatles fan will
tell you that "let it be" comes shrouded in sadness-- forever associated with the great divorce in rock and roll history-- jackson braced for the gloomy worst. >> jackson: i was watching, i was waiting for it to get bad. i was waiting for the narrative that i'd believed over the years to start happening. i was waiting for the arguments. waiting for the discontent. waiting for the misery. and, you know, it didn't happen. i mean, it shows-- you know, it shows issues. it shows problems. but-- but any band, any time, has tho-- has those-- has those problems. this is not a band that's breaking up. these are not guys that dislike each other. that's not what i'm-- what-- what we're seeing here. that's not what was being filmed. >> john lennon: yeah, but the >> wertheim: here's what was being filmed: the four liverpudlians in their late 20s, working collaboratively, surrounded by a strikingly small, tight entourage.
there's linda-- linda eastman, at the time-- taking photos. and, of course, yoko ono. as long as we're here, let's dispense now with that famous bit of beatles break-up mythology. the casual fan looking for "yoko ono broke up the beatles" might come away from this disappointed, i suspect. >> giles martin: yeah, i think that's a good thing, you know. i mean, yoko didn't break up the beatles. and-- and no one thing broke up the beatles. >> george martin: that's the original. >> giles martin: that's the original. >> wertheim: giles martin is the son of late beatles producer george martin. giles grew up in the beatles orbit, and has since remixed most of the band's albums. when peter jackson enlisted him for this series, martin plowed through all the hundreds of hours of audio and video. >> giles martin: you can see the cracks appearing. the ne thing about this movie is that people understand why they were getting tired of each other. because you get the sense of what it was like to be in a room with them, which is such a
privilege for all of us. >> wertheim: despite those cracks, the beatles alchemy remains potent. >> jackson: at one point, we have footage of paul mccartney sort of strumming on-- on his bass, which he uses as a guitar half the time. just sort of strumming. i think it's early in the morning, and they're waiting for john to-- hasn't arrived yet. he's just biding some time. he slowly finds the tune. ♪("get back") >> jackson: and so, you see this song kind of just be plucked out of thin air. >> mccartney: left his home in tucson, arizona. >> lennon: is tucson in arizona? >> mccartney: yeah. it's where they make "high chaparral." like, i can make sense of it. jojo left his home, hoping it would be a blast, pretty soon he found that he'd have to be a loner with some california grass. and now you think, okay, that makes sense, but it doesn't sing
good. >> wertheim: the beatles had always been furiously productive, but this was the creative process in double time: 14 songs in 22 days. was that as much an absurd time pressure in 1969 as it would appear to be today? >> giles martin: yeah. this is the biggest band on the planet, saying we're going to do-- we're going to do our first show in three years, in three weeks' time. but we don't know where it's going to be, and we don't know what songs we're going to play. >> wertheim: as you listen to all the recordings for this project, what impressions did you arrive at, in terms of their chemistry? >> giles martin: my impression of it is that paul and john kind of knew that they were growing apart, and "let it be" was almost like a marriage that's failing, and they want to go back on their date nights again. >> wertheim: compounding matters, george harrison-- restless in his role and bristling under paul mccartney's
driving ambition-- leaves the band after a week. >> jackson: it's the most low- key walk-out that you've ever seen in your life. it's just-- "i'm leaving now." "what?" "i'm leaving the band now." and then he goes. there's no fight, there's no argument, there's no disagreement. >> wertheim: john was in love with yoko and, in his words, he was mistreating his body. the band was competing for his attention-- not always successfully. >> lennon: when i was younger, much younger than today, i never needed anybody's help in any way. but now my life has changed in oh-so-many ways, a wop-bop- alooma, a-wop-bam-boo. >> mccartney: we can't carry on like this indefinitely. >> lennon: we seem to be. >> mccartney: we seem to, but we can't. see, what you need is a serious program of work, not an aimless rambling amongst the canyons of your mind. >> wertheim: paul had, grudgingly, become the band's
hall monitor, more lead than singer. george was persuaded to come back, but with the live performance approaching, the beatles decided they needed a change of scenery. they relocated to a makeshift studio in the basement of apple records. >> lennon: i dig a pygmy by charles hawtrey and the deaf aids. phase one, in which doris gets her oats. >> wertheim: a surge of fresh energy also came in the form of a keyboard player: billy preston, a 22-year-old texan brought in by george. ♪ ("get back") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ what was the influence of billy
preston on this album, and on the beatles at the time? >> giles martin: this hotshot comes in and they just had to suddenly improve their playing, because they had this force of nature in the room with them. and i think that's what he did. i think he worked as a catalyst and galvanized them so they could make the record and/or do the right performance. >> wertheim: it's an upbeat scene, at odds with how so many remembered that time, not least the principals themselves. but peter jackson's "get back" series doesn't just restore lost footage, or the beatles' music; it restores something much deeper. you mentioned memory before. i wonder, did their recollections match up with this-- this documentary evidence you were presenting them with? >> jackson: 50 years later, i'm talking to-- to ringo and paul. and their memory was very miserable and unhappy. and i'd say, "look, what-- whatever your memories are, whatever you think your memories are, this is the actual truth of look at-- look at this."
♪("the two of us") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> jackson: they started to realize what-- what this is. i mean, this is a-- an incredibly amazing historical document of the beatles at work. and four friends at work. and clearly, they're four friends. ♪ ("for you, blue") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: the looming deadline didn't exactly dampen the mood in the studio. ♪ ("dig it") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> wertheim: and what of the culmination of these sessions, that live performance? the band simply walked up a few flights of stairs, and on january 30, 1969, played atop the apple offices. ♪ ("get back") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: no one at the time suspected it, but this would mark the beatles' final performance, before splitting up 14 months later. it took a half century, and an exacting director on the other side of the world-- who knows plenty about the power of myth-- to revise the lore surrounding the beatles break-up and set the record straight. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ( ticking )
( ticking ) >> sharyn alfonsi: last year, mardis gras came and went in new orleans without much fanfare. because of the pandemic, for the first time in 42 years, the city's world famous parades did not roll. instead, new orleans was eerily quiet. unless you listened extra carefully. far from the normal parade route we found a high school marching band breaking the silence. they call themselves "the best band in the land." as we first told you last march, we call them a story, and a band, you ought to hear. >> ray johnson: all right, here we go, horns up! one, two, one, two, one!
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: the st. augustine high school marching band needs no introduction in new orleans. the drums and horns have echoed through this city since the band was founded in 1952. ♪ ♪ ♪ but, like any aging instrument, it was in need of a tune-up. >> ray johnson: bad last note, the whole stadium heard that! >> alfonsi: enter ray johnson. >> ray johnson: do it again. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: he was hired as the new band director in 2020, and he didn't waste time with pleasantries. can you tell if they've been practicing? >> ray johnson: yes, i can. everything has to be precise. the marching, the precision, standing correctly. >> alfonsi: and can you hear it if one of them is off?
>> ray johnson: i can, yes. >> alfonsi: and will you call them out on that? >> ray johnson: i sure will. in new orleans, marching band is a culture. just like in some places they have football as a culture. but here in this city, they live, breathe, eat, sleep, everything marching band. >> alfonsi: st. aug, as its known, is one of the few predominantly black, all-boys catholic high schools in the country. it sits in new orleans' seventh ward, seven blocks from the mississippi river-- not the part of the city usually found on postcards. the school is surrounded by reminders of a city forever rebuilding. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> ray johnson: don't rush! >> alfonsi: in here, ray johnson is rebuilding too. >> ray johnson: accent! >> alfonsi: the "best band in the land" is more of a mission statement these days. >> ray johnson: you got wrong notes coming from over here. >> alfonsi: since hurricane katrina flooded the school in
2005, it's been a long haul. the music library is still a temporary trailer on the blacktop. >> ray johnson: school didn't come back the same. and instruments-- we didn't have enough. and the uniforms were damaged. so, we had to rebuild everything. and just now, we were beginning to see the fruits of our labor, and then here comes covid. >> alfonsi: how many kids are in the band now? >> ray johnson: on the roll, i have 85. >> alfonsi: where would you like that number to be? >> ray johnson: 150. >> alfonsi: 150 allows for a full band and a deep bench. for decades, they easily hit that number. on a sizzling hot blacktop over the summer, hundreds of students would try out for a spot. the competition was fierce. many of the kids had grown up playing music. ray johnson was one of them. would you have ever skipped practice back in the '80s? >> ray johnson: oh, no, ma'am. no, not at all. if you-- if you skip practice, you got ten dudes lined up to take your spot.
♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: they were a powerhouse. st. augustine played for eight presidents, and a pope. the band's founder, edwin hampton, was a no-nonsense disciplinarian who created the band's signature style. >> ray johnson: most marching bands, what they call "show bands," they might dance, or play popular music. the difference that sets st. augustine apart, we played popular music, but we had a military style. >> alfonsi: that meant eyes forward and chins up, no matter what. pristine uniforms, perfect lines and gravity-defying knees would whip mardi gras crowds into a frenzy. >> let's go marching 100! >> alfonsi: in 1960, ruby bridges famously desegregated new orleans' public schools. seven years later, st. augustine desegregated mardi gras parades. band members say they were urinated on as they passed under balconies. dr. kenneth st. charles was the
school's president in 2020. >> dr. kenneth st. charles: so, they had people throwing things at them. they had to not respond. they had people yelling obscenities to them. they could not respond. >> alfonsi: it's a lot to ask of-- of a young guy. >> st. charles: it's-- it's a lot to ask of-- of a 14, 15, 16- year-old kid, to not retaliate. you know, we teach them, as we do in our christian faith, "turn the other cheek." >> alfonsi: dr. st. charles knows the discipline required in those moments. in 1981, he and his classmate, ray johnson, were marching in a mardi gras parade for st. augustine when an adult who was chaperoning the band got into a scuffle with a plainclothes police officer. >> ray johnson: and then the gun went off. and all of a sudden, the police started showing up on horseback and the band got disarray and stuff like that. so, one of our baritone players said, "ray, you have blood on
your uniform." and that's when i started feeling the pain in the side of my face here. so, that's where the bullet went in my jaw and came out the back of my neck. >> alfonsi: you didn't realize you'd been shot? >> ray johnson: i didn't know i was shot. one police officer was trying to give me first aid. so, he said, "look," he said, "i got to cut this uniform off you to see if you're hit anywhere else." and i said, "hold up," i said, "you can't cut this uniform." i said, "it has buttons on it. i can take it off." >> alfonsi: why didn't you want him to cut the uniform? >> ray johnson: well, i knew that if this man cut this uniform, mr. hampton would probably kill me. >> alfonsi: after college, johnson returned to st. augustine, where he worked as an assistant to edwin hampton for 11 years before leaving to teach at another school. hampton stayed for another 12 years, until he passed away in 2009. without him, some at st. augustine thought the band had lost its edge. ray johnson was hired back to sharpen it. >> dr. brice miller: for me, it
was like, dude, you're about to fall deep into the rituals of the tradition. ray is, like, the essence of st. aug. >> alfonsi: brice miller played the trumpet under hampton, the band's founder, and johnson in the '90s. his son, brice, a sophomore, was a familiar name on johnson's roster. >> brice miller jr.: he already knew who i was cause of my dad. so he expected a lot from me. >> dr. miller: now having my son participating not only in the band, but with your band director, it was a beautiful thing. >> alfonsi: "beautiful" might not be the way some of the teenagers would describe the introduction. >> ray johnson: now y'all want to meet the real mr. johnson? y'all want to meet the real mr. johnson? if y'all are going to say ya'll the best band, y'all got to prove it! >> alfonsi: senior kabrel johnson and eighth-grader lawrence honore are part of the drum line. honore wasn't much bigger than
his snare drum when he decided he wanted to play for st. augustine. >> ray johnson: put your heels together, mr. honore. >> alfonsi: tell me your impression of mr. ray. >> lawrence honore: i think he's pretty nice. he could be feisty at sometimes, but that's all discipline. >> alfonsi: what do you mean, feisty? >> honore: like, he yells, but-- >> kabrel johnson: he yells out of passion-- >> ray johnson: everything has to be sharp! so, trumpets, what's going on now? i need y'all to play it every time, that's how y'all are going to get good at it! >> alfonsi: when i'm sitting here talking to you, you're so almost soft-spoken. and you see you out there on the blacktop, and it gets up a level. >> ray johnson: right. >> alfonsi: that's by design? >> ray johnson: i want you to be out your comfort zone, because i need you to pay attention. and when you pay attention, you learn. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alfonsi: a few minutes into practice and it's clear the band's program isn't just designed to produce good musicians-- it's part of the school's larger mission to produce good men. >> ray johnson: y'all look good, man. great job. proud of y'all, thank you. >> dr. miller: that's the history of this-- of this school. your teachers are strong, intellectual black men.
your coaches-- strong, intellectual black men. your band directors-- strong, intellectual black men. so, you see that wide range, that wide display of, again, black male success. >> alfonsi: the school preaches discipline, and the band demands it. the only way to achieve st. augustine's signature military formations is to stay in line, and make sure the guy next to you is, too. >> student: where my tempo at? i need to hear it! pick up them legs! >> alfonsi: tell me about mr. ray. what has he done for the band? >> kabrel johnson: one year ago, is not the same band you see today. i'm not going to lie, was a little bit less disciplined. but now, if you move, you will be, you're going to have them push-ups after-- after that parade-- >> alfonsi: wait. if you move, you have to do push-ups? >> kabrel johnson: oh, most definitely. >> alfonsi: do people try to get your attention? >> kabrel johnson: oh, they do. i remember my cousin has tried, my mother has tried. >> alfonsi: so you just have to be eyes forward-- >> kabrel johnson: you got to be locked in. >> alfonsi: last winter, nothing seemed to be moving in new orleans.
the pandemic shuttered the city. even bourbon street seemed to have sobered up. >> teacher: it's your responsibility to learn. >> alfonsi: for almost a year, st. augustine bounced between in-person and virtual learning. >> ray johnson: we can't decide what god is going to do. if he say everything shut down, everything shut down! >> alfonsi: when band practice was cancelled for a week, then a month, lawrence honore improvised. when their high school football game was nearly flooded, the entire band called an audible, and shook the stadium from below. and, when they learned mardi gras parades were cancelled? >> ray johnson: i don't know why y'all coming wide like that. >> alfonsi: ray johnson didn't miss a beat. >> ray johnson: ba-boomp, ba- boomp, ba-boomp! well, it's hard, because it's a tradition, you know. just like anything else, you know, you got to suck it up and keep moving. >> alfonsi: that's what brice miller is doing. he is a professional musician.
when the city shut down in 2020, his work dried up. he started volunteering with the band. before this, you know, your dad was busy all the time, right? now you're seeing a lot more of him because the pandemic. what's that been like for you? >> brice miller jr.: like, i'm actually proud of him, because he's also kind of struggling. you know, he's a professional musician. can't do none of that. jazz fest, can't do anything. but he really loves what he does. but he loves his family more. >> dr. miller: i want him to be the best, the most successful that he can possibly be. i don't want him to become a statistic in any way. that's the realism of raising a black boy, and raising a black boy in a city like new orleans. >> alfonsi: that realism doesn't take holidays off. lawrence honore's good friend, who attended a different school,
was killed walking out of a store. >> honore: on christmas night, he had got caught in a crossfire, and they had shot him in the head. >> alfonsi: and how old is he? >> honore: 14. >> alfonsi: the same age as honore. he played at his buddy's funeral. and then, his mom drove him straight to band practice. with just about everything cancelled for a year, it was hard for anyone to find a reason to get dressed. but that's exactly why ray johnson had the band do it anyway. and then, directed them to march through the neighborhood. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the route lacked the grandeur of a mardi gras parade, but locals poured onto their porches anyway. even when they're a little scratchy, and a lot loud, it is a joyful sound in the seventh ward. >> st. charles: i think when
people heard us starting to practice again and the students coming back, it-- it gave a sense of, okay, things are getting better. >> kabrel johnson: i think it's so good that the band marches around the block. because i feel like that is-- that is st. aug. that is new orleans. >> honore: yeah. that's what people need nowadays because of the pandemic. they need something to cheer them up. >> alfonsi: they marched down the block, hanging a right at hope street, ray johnson behind them at every step. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ( ticking ) >> welcome to cbssportshq presented by progressive insurances. i'm james brown with the score from the nfl. despited down 18 points on the road in one of the fiercest environments in football, joe burrow, and the bengals were resilient and are afc champions. they take down the chiefs
27-24, returning to the super bowl for the first time in three decades. for highlights go to cbssportshq.com. we parked near the exit. -absolutely. -there you go. that way, [whistles] let's put away the parking talk, maybe, for a minute. parking is where the money is, though. can you imagine what this place pulls in on parking alone? alright, no more talking about parking lots. a lot of these are compact spots. it's not pretty. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents, but we can protect your home and auto when you bundle with us. we still planning to head out around the third quarter? let's not talk about leaving before we're actually at the game.
>> alfonsi: i'm sharyn alfonsi. thanks for joining us. we hope you'll stick around-- a "60 minutes" wildlife tour is coming up next. ♪ i'm the latest hashtag challenge. and everyone on social media is trying me. i'm trending so hard that “hashtag common sense” can't keep up. this is going to get tens and tens of views. ♪ but if you don't have the right auto insurance coverage, you could be left to pay for this... yourself. get allstate and be better protected from mayhem for a whole lot less. keeps has given me the control of my hair back. seeing the progress was awesome, seeing my hair grow back so quick. i feel great, i feel confident. i feel very happy about my journey so far with keeps and where it's going in the future. get started
at keeps.com/tv. cough cough sneeze sneeze... [ sneezing ] needs, plop plop fizz fizz. alka seltzer plus cold relief. dissolves quickly. instany readto t g. so you canouba fast lkseplus. now available for fast sinus relief. growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged: kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart, and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort. ( ticking ) captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh
access.wgbh.org captioning funded by cbs and ford. w go further, so you can. >> tonight, an encore of "60 minutes presents," a "60 minutes" wildlife tour. >> if you're standing there, you don't know that shark is there. >> you have no idea. >> you don't know that shark is there. >> no idea. she is like ten feet offshore. >> yeah. very close now. >> that's a great white shark lurking just off the coast of ac and know why these awe-inspiring animals are coming closer to our shores. so, we went out into the north atlantic with two groups of scientists. and, yes, at some point, we actually needed a bigger boat to see what they're finding out about the great white shark. ( ticking )