The song of the day for Sunday, January 23, 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 Douglas Cross, two homesick songwriters from San Francisco.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” 60 years ago today, on January 23, 1962.
This song is, of course, Tony Bennett’s signature song. It actually became that 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 (where a young high school saxophone player named Bill Clinton hung outside the auditorium to hear the concert), 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. The recording was released on an album I Left My Heart In San Francisco, put out quickly for lovers of the song.
The recording won Tony Bennet his first (of many) Grammy Award.