The song of the day for Saturday, February 10, 2018 is “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
About This Song
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was written in 1953 by two homesick songwriters from that city by the bay: George Cory and Douglass Cross. The song is, of course, Tony Bennett’s signature song.
It actually became that quite by accident. As Bennett’s musical director, songwriters were constantly giving Ralph Sharon copies of their songs. Cross and Cory had done that and Sharon had stuck the song in a drawer and forgotten all about it. In 1961, he and Bennett were heading out on tour, which included a stop in San Francisco at The Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. Sharon came across the music and thought it might be a nice local number for the San Francisco audience.
After a performance in Hot Springs, Arkansas, they found a piano and started to work on the song a bit. An early fan was the bartender, who said that he’d buy the first copy if they ever decided to record it. Of course, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was a huge hit at the performance and in January, 1962, Bennett recorded it and released it on a 45 RPM record on the B-side to “Once Upon a Time.” But gradually, I Left My Heart in San Francisco started getting all the airplay and it became a major hit for Bennett, winning him his first Grammy Award. It is his signature song and is beloved by all of his fans.
About This Version
No discussion of Tony Bennett’s career in 1962 can be held without acknowledging the impact his original recording in 1962 had on his stature in the music business. It’s a pretty well perfect recording, made on January 23, 1962 and released on the album I Left My Heart In San Francisco on June 18, 1962, just nine days after his legendary Carnegie Hall concert. The arrangement was written by Marty Manning. I don’t think you need to listen past the first couple of notes to know what a great listen you have in store.
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” as well as the album I Left My Heart in San Francisco, is available from iTunes.
Today I’m pleased to include a segment of an 1963 episode of “The Judy Garland Show,” featuring a duet between Garland and Bennett of today’s song. Tony Bennett and Judy Garland were good friends and it’s a joy to see their affection for each other in this clip.