Where did Tony Bennett first sing 'I left my heart in San Francisco'?

Tony Bennett might have been born in Long Island City, New York. But as the world knows, his heart was in San Francisco.

As music lovers around the globe mourned the crooner's death Friday at the age of 96, San Franciscans touted the fact that Bennett really became famous singing in their city. 

"Tony Bennett provided us with a song, a spirit, and a magic that is intertwined with the history of San Francisco and who we are," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "His contributions to this City go far beyond words on a page or melodies in the air. Today, we honor his memory and celebrate his legacy that will stay with us forever."

In December 1961, "a well-dressed crowd at the fabulous supper club" at the Fairmont Hotel became the first to hear Bennett "serenade them with what would become his signature tune. Since that night, Mr. Bennett and Fairmont San Francisco have enjoyed a special bond.

Some of those in attendance were then-San Francisco mayor George Christopher and future mayor Joseph L. Alioto. 

That's the exact wording on the Fairmont Hotel website, which today boasts the Diplomat Tony Bennett Suite on the 22nd floor that has a 270-degree view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Specifically, Bennett sang the song in the hotel's lush-red Venetian Room, complete with  jacketed waiters whisking about candlelit tables. 

"Of all the show biz people I’ve met, he’s at the top of the list for being so sweet and kind," wrote Tom Wolfe, a former Fairmont concierge, who once introduced Bennett when the regular announcer was struck with laryngitis.

The song was originally written in 1953 in Brooklyn with music by George Cory and lyrics by Douglass Cross.

Bennett's longtime accompanist, Ralph Sharon, brought the music along with him to San Francisco when they were on tour. 

In 2016, Fairmont San Francisco hosted Bennett’s 90th birthday and unveiled an 8-foot-tall bronze likeness of the singer, which stands in front of the hotel today. 

At the time, then-Mayor Ed Lee declared August 19th to be "Tony Bennett Day," and a local ice cream shop scooped the Bennett-inspired flavor "Duet" with limoncello and biscotti to honor the singer's Italian heritage. 


Tony Bennett, who sang 'I left my heart in San Francisco,' dies at 96

Tony Bennett, the eminent and timeless stylist whose devotion to classic American songs and knack for creating new standards such as "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" graced a decadeslong career that brought him admirers from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga, died Friday.

Two years later, Fairmont San Francisco, along with the city of San Francisco, renamed the stretch of street that fronts the hotel as Tony Bennett Way. 

Bennett also had strong ties with the San Francisco Giants, which played his hit song on the public-address system after every home victory for decades.

The Oracle Park suite at the end of the right-field line is named in Bennett’s honor. 

MLB.com noted that before or after his ballpark appearances, Bennett sometimes relaxed in the team’s clubhouse specifically, in the office of former Giants clubhouse manager Mike Murphy. 

Murphy and Bennett originally met in the 1960s through influential mutual friends -- the Swig family, former owners of San Francisco’s famed Fairmont Hotel. 

An 8-foot statue of Tony Bennett stands in front of San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. 

An 8-foot statue of Tony Bennett stands in front of San Franciscos Fairmont Hotel.