Do you know the words to I Left My Heart in San Francisco? It was written by songwriters George Cory and Douglass Cross in 1954. Tony Bennett first performed the song in December of 1961 in the Venetian Room in San Francisco’s historic Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. Bennett then recorded the song in January 1962 and, as they say, the rest is history. However, the history of the Venetian Room has a new chapter.
For four decades, from 1947 to 1989, the Venetian Room was a “supper club” that hosted performances by entertainers as varied as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Tina Turner and James Brown. My high school friends and I saw Alan Sherman perform his novelty song, Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder about a boy’s experience at camp, in the Venetian Room on prom night.
For more than 20 years, the room was only used for special parties and weddings. Now it is home to the Bay Area Cabaret. Producer Marilyn Levinson says, “We are thrilled and honored to be reopening this historic room as a music venue, where we will be presenting this generation’s top Broadway, pop and jazz performers.” Check out www.bayareacabaret.org.