Any fan of the great crooners would probably jump at the chance to duet with Tony Bennett himself. In a way, now they can, along with the entire city of San Francisco and whoever else feels like participating in a lockdown singalong.
On Saturday, April 25, at noon PT, Bennett has invited the whole world to join him in a chorus of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” to honor essential workers, particularly those in healthcare, on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Francisco Chief of Protocol Charlotte Mailliard Shultz came up with the idea to stage a citywide singalong that’s open to all, even those outside of San Francisco. Mayor London Breed, who’s been applauded for her early and aggressive approach to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, has endorsed the idea as a way to “recognize how connected we are to one another, not just here in San Francisco, but all over the world.”
In a demonstration of that global connectivity, participants are encouraged to livestream their renditions of the ballad on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube using the hashtag #SingOutSF. Those in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area are also encouraged to take to their balconies and backyards during the event to lend their voices to the collective chorus.
Like Breed, Bennett himself was quick to champion the singalong. “San Francisco has been in my heart for over 50 years,” said the 93-year-old New Yorker, who also noted his appreciation for the city’s impressive strides to flatten the curve.
For most of us, participating in Saturday’s singalong will be the closest we’ll ever get to dueting with a 19-time Grammy and two-time Emmy Award winner. And considering it’s for a good cause, intended not only to boost morale but also honor the front-line workers whose morale likely needs boosting most, it’s going to feel a whole lot better than belting out “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” alone in our living rooms on any old afternoon.