The Year of Tony Bennett notes the passing of opera singer Claramae Turner, who passed away on May 18 at the age of 92.
A native of California, Miss Turner started her career with the San Francisco Opera. She worked with the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1940s and also sang with New York City Opera. Many may remember her role as Cousin Nettie in the film version of Carousel.
While Miss Turner was performing with the New York City Opera in the early 1950s, a homesick friend of hers from San Francisco named George Cory wrote a song for her: “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” She sang it regularly, usually as an encore for her classical music recitals. Unfortunately, she never got around to recording it.
As fans of Tony Bennett, we sadly note the passing of Claramae Turner, without whom Tony Bennett may not have ever had our favorite song to sing.
The Los Angeles Times obituary may be read here.