The song of the day for Tuesday, May 4, 2021, is “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.”
Today we are remembering Douglass Cross, who wrote the lyrics for “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” Cross was born on May 4, 1920, and died on January 7, 1975. He and his partner, George Cory, were from San Francisco and had moved to New York to better their chances as songwriters.
About This Song
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was written by George Cory and Douglass Cross in 1953. 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, 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
Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” in 1962, It first released as a single in 1962 and later that year on the album I Left My Heart In San Francisco. Marty Manning wrote the arrangement.
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” as well as the album I Left My Heart In San Francisco, is available from Apple Music.