The song of the day for Thursday, August 3, 2023, is “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.”
Tony Bennett would have reached his 97th birthday on August 3, 2023. In addition to Mr. Bennett’s birthday, George Cory (composer of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”) was born on August 3, 1920.
I can think of no better song of the day than “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” for today.
About This Song
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was written in 1953 by George Cory and Douglass Cross. The two songwriters had given Ralph Sharon, Bennett’s musical director, a copy of their song, which he put in a drawer and mostly forgot about. In 1961, Sharon was packing for a road trip with Bennett, which would end at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, and thought the song might be a nice song for the locals in the city by the bay. Well, it was well-received in San Francisco and went on to be Tony Bennett’s biggest hit and won two Grammy Awards (Album of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance, Male).
In 2018, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”.
About This Version
Tony Bennett first recorded “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” in 1962 and it remained his only studio recording of the song. In 2006, he felt it was time for another studio recording. He enlisted Bill Charlap and recorded it again on his 2006 album Duets: An American Classic.
“I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” as well as Duets: An American Classic is available on Apple Music.
I have several videos for today. First up is from Bill Charlap, who was interviewed by Kaitlan Collins on CNN immediately following his death on July 21, 2023:
Bill Charlap also recorded this piano solo in memory of Tony Bennett:
In 1963, Tony Bennett appeared on the Judy Garland Show and sang what many, including me, consider his best recording of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”