The song of the day for Saturday, August 3, 2019, is “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
About This Song
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was written in 1953 by George Cory and Douglas Cross.
This 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 (a performance that an underage high school kid name Bill Clinton listened to through a window in the hall), 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 two Grammy Awards: one for Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male and the other for Record of the Year. It is his signature song and is beloved by all of his fans.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” on January 23, 1962; it was released as a single on February 2, 1962. Marty Manning wrote the arrangement. It was also the title song for the album I Left My Heart in San Francisco, released in 1962.
We are of course celebrating Tony Bennett’s 93rd birthday! I’ve always found it interesting that the composer of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” George Cory, also was born on August 3.
The Year of Tony Bennett wishes Tony Bennett the happiest of birthdays.
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” as well as I Left My Heart in San Francisco, is available from iTunes.