From the New York Times:
Bobby Short, the cherubic singer and pianist whose high-spirited but probing renditions of popular standards evoked the glamour and sophistication of Manhattan nightlife, died today at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was 80, and had homes in Manhattan and southern France. . . .You can read the Times obituary by clicking here. (Use mediajunkie as your name and password.)
Mr. Short liked to call himself a saloon singer, and his "saloon," since 1968, was one of the most elegant in the country, the intimate Cafe Carlyle tucked in the Hotel Carlyle on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There for six months each year, in a room where he was only a few feet away from his audience, he sang and accompanied himself on the piano. Although he had said that last year's engagement would be his final one, he reversed himself in June and extended for 2005, the 50th anniversary of the club.
Over the years, Mr. Short transcended the role of cabaret entertainer to become a New York institution and a symbol of civilized Manhattan culture. In Woody Allen's films, a visit to the Carlyle became an essential stop on his characters' cultural tour. He attracted a chic international clientele that included royalty, movie stars, sports figures, captains of industry, socialites and jazz aficionados . . . .
His social status sometimes overshadowed his significance as a jazz pianist, singer and scholar. Mr. Short dedicated himself to spreading an awareness of the African-American contribution to New York's musical theater. In his pantheon of great American songwriters, Cole Porter stood side by side with Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, and Waller's sometime lyricist Andy Razaf, who wrote the words for "Guess Who's in Town?", his unofficial musical greeting.