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Ol’ Blue Eyes’ vagabond shoes led him to New York City. Dionne Warwick found her way to San Jose. But only one city steals your heart.
It’s been half a century since Tony Bennett recorded his ode to San Francisco, and the man himself is returning to the The City to help celebrate.
On Valentine’s Day, Bennett himself will lead a citywide sing-along of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” direct from City Hall at noon. Tuesday’s traditional emergency air horn will herald the start of a special, once-in-a-lifetime, all-hands-on-deck performance you’ll want to be part of.
The musical flash mob Tuesday is a public tribute to the New York-raised Bennett and his 70-year music career. The official ceremony will take place in the City Hall rotunda with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Mayor Ed Lee and other civic leaders.
Local choirs from the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Boy and Girls Choruses and Beach Blanket Babylon will perform their own rendition of Bennett’s signature song.
If you can’t make it to City Hall for the celebration, San Franciscans around the world are encouraged to clear their throats and take a moment to honor The City by the Bay.
Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement:
“The song reminds us of why we love our city so much and when we are away, it calls us home. Mr. Bennett’s signature voice is celebrated around the world, and when he comes back to San Francisco, our hearts will surely be lifted.”
Mayor Lee has requested every radio station in the city to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at noon, and the city’s public address systems will be broadcasting it throughout the seven-by-seven.
You of course can use the handy, unofficial SFBay “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” sing-along guide to help you hit all the high notes.
Bennett first sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in December 1961 at the Fairmont Hotel’s Venetian room, and recorded it the following year. He returns to the Fairmont tomorrow night for a sold-out concert to benefit heart research at UCSF.