NEW YORK, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Renowned saloon singer Bobby Short began his last engagement as star of the Café Carlyle Tuesday, announcing that he will end his 36-year run there Dec. 31.
"I'm 79 years old, and I've had serious thoughts about pursuing other things," Short told his adoring opening night audience. "More time for friends. More time for things I like to do."
The dapper black entertainer with the gravelly voice said he has no plans to retire from singing show tunes and classic pop songs to his own piano accompaniment. He said he will continue to tour and even play an occasional date at the café in the Carlyle Hotel on New York's upper East Side. He also plans to spend more time at his villa on the French Riviera.
Short began to perform in saloons in his hometown, Danville, Ill., when he was 10. After he began his annual stints at the Carlyle Café in 1968 he became one of the city's best-known personalities, appearing on best-dressed lists, escorting Gloria Vanderbilt, and even being elected to the Social Register.
He has played himself in a number of films including Woody Allen's 1986 "Hannah and Her Sisters."