The song of the day for Tuesday, April 17, 2013 is I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
About This Song
I Left My Heart in San Francisco was written in 1954 by two somewhat homesick songwriters from San Francisco, George Cory and Douglass Cross. Even though other singers have recorded this song, there is no doubt that Tony Bennett owns this song completely (so much so, that some people assume that Bennett must be from that city). It was originally released as the B-side on a 45 record with Once Upon a Time (another beautiful song that Bennett sang superbly) and released on February 2, 1962. It may very well be the most successful B-side song ever recorded.
About This Version
If any song in the world is identified with Tony Bennett, it is I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Even though Tony Bennett has sung this song in literally every live concert since 1962, up until 2006, there was only the original 1962 recording. For the first Duets album, which coincided with Mr. Bennett’s 80th birthday, he and Bill Charlap recorded this new version with just voice and piano. It’s really a lovely, poignant recording of this song we all love.
Tony Bennett has said “that song helped make me a world citizen. It allowed me to live, work and sing in any city on the globe. It changed my whole life.”
I Left My Heart in San Francisco, as well as the entire Duets: An American Classic album, is available from iTunes.
National Public Radio did a nice story about the recording of this new version of I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Click here to listen to the story, which was recorded in the studio as the recording was made.
This interview with Ralph Sharon for jazzprofessional.com in 1988 describes the lucky accident of how Tony Bennett came to do this song in the first place. Click here to read the interview.
And, if you haven’t had quite enough (and who could ever have too much of this song), here’s a clip of Tony singing the song on Judy Garland’s television show.