The song of the day for Thursday, September 1, 2022, 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 Douglass Cross.
This song is, of course, Tony Bennett’s signature song. It actually became that quite by accident. As Bennett’s musical director, songwriters constantly gave 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 sang this version of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” live on August 28, 1962, at a concert hosted by President Kennedy’s White House held at the Washington Monument. The concert, with Bennett and his trio and Dave Brubeck and his quartet, was released in 2013 on Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962. Bennett’s trio consisted of Ralph Sharon on piano, Hal Gaylord on bass, and Billy Exiner on drums.
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” as well as Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 is available on Apple Music.