By Ken Foote

THE FOOTE FILES (CBSDFW.COM) — Tony Bennett, born Anthony Benedetto, is one of the world’s top pop/big band/jazz singers ever, as well as an accomplished painter. He has been performing for audiences since 1945.

What prompted me to feature him in The Foote Files was our recent blog on Lady Gaga’s new hit song “Stupid Love,” which reminded me that she and Bennett are close friends, both professionally and personally.

From 1956-1965, he charted 13 times on Billboard, with his most successful song being “In The Middle Of An Island” from 1957, which hit #9 and stayed on the charts for 14 weeks. But today, we feature another song which is sort of a signature song for him.

“I Left My Heart In San Francisco” was written in 1953 by George Cory and Douglass Cross. Bennett recorded the song at the CBS 20th Street Studio and released it on Feb. 2, 1962, on the Columbia Records label. It hit #19 on Billboard and stayed on the charts for 10 weeks.

As a side note, Tennessee Ernie Ford was pitched the song but he declined. And so they say, “the rest is history.”

The song is actually about two writers who move to New York but are missing San Francisco. It is just plain beautiful and runs two minutes and 52 seconds.