The song that has been San Francisco’s anthem for decades will be sung at noon today in a Valentine’s Day tribute to singer Tony Bennett that will mark the 50th anniversary of the recording of his signature classic.
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” the tune that comes out of wind-up musical cable car toys and that is played at AT&T Park as fans trail out after Giants’ home wins, will be sung at City Hall in a midday celebration.
Every local radio station has been asked to play “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” at or around noon, and the song will be played over the public address system at Union Square and Hallidie Plaza.
Bennett, 85, recorded the song in 1962, and is returning to the city five decades later to be honored at a noontime ceremony at City Hall.
The ceremony will include a video tribute with testimonials by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Mayor Ed Lee. Several local choirs will sing their own versions of the song, followed by a sing-along of the tune at the end of the ceremony.
The emcee for the event will be San Francisco Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon.
Bennett first sang the song in December 1961 at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill. He will return there tonight for a sold-out benefit concert to raise money for heart research at the University of California at San Francisco.
Also tonight, City Hall will be lit up in red for Valentine’s Day and as a tribute to Bennett.
Bennett himself is not scheduled to sing at the noon event.
Today’s ceremony at City Hall is free and open to the public.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News