Songwriter Douglass Cross was born on May 4, 1920 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Douglass Cross, partnered with George Cory, wrote I Left My Heart In San Francisco in 1954. The song was originally written for a performer named Claramae Turner, who did sing it, but never recorded it. Turner suggested that the songwriters pitch it to Tennessee Ernie Ford, who turned it down. They gave a copy of the sheet music to Ralph Sharon, who promptly stuck it in a drawer.
While packing for a tour that would take Sharon and Bennett to San Francisco, he came across the song and packed it, thinking it might be a nice song to perform to the locals in San Francisco. And so in December, 1961, in the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel, Tony Bennett first sang the song that became his trademark. And he hasn’t stopped singing it since.
San Francisco loves Tony Bennett. February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day) was declared Tony Bennett Day. The song is played over the public address system after every home game won by the San Francisco Giants. Last year, when the Giants won the World Series, Bennett attended the parade and sang I Left My Heart In San Francisco at their celebration at City Hall.
The song is probably Tony Bennett’s most loved song and he sings it at each and every concert. In the concerts I’ve attended, the feeling from the audience when he sings the song is palpable.
This version is the original, from the album of the same name.