Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday 9: San Francisco

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is a valentine to the city of San Francisco. Songwriters George Cory and Douglas Cross moved to New York to find fame and fortune and found themselves homesick for the city by the bay. Have you ever been homesick? Or, in the parlance of the song, where have you left your heart?

A. I still live in the area where I grew up. I often feel like I'm missing someone, but not something, even though I have no idea who I'm missing - a part of myself, perhaps. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains, though, and I miss them when I am visiting flatter country.

2) Cory and Cross were buddies with Ralph Sharon, a piano player who often worked with Tony Bennett. Ralph brought the song to Tony and the results were very happy for all involved. Have you more recently done, or been on the receiving end of, a favor?

A. My husband drove me to the pharmacy the other night because I'd taken some medication and didn't feel it was safe to drive.
3) The lyrics compare San Francisco to Paris, Rome and Manhattan. Have you visited those cities?

A. I have been to New York and to Paris, but I was very young.

4) This week's artist, Tony Bennett, sang professionally for the last time in August. He retired after performing at Radio City Music Hall with Lady Gaga. Their musical collaboration dates back to when they both performed at President Obama's inauguration. Though 60 years apart in age, they became fast friends based on their shared love of jazz. Do you find that most of your friends are older than you, younger than you, or within 5 years of you?

A. Most of my friends are a little older than I am.

5) While Lady Gaga grew up listening to Tony Bennett, as a young man Tony recalled listening to Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Joe Venuti. Which singers did you enjoy during your teen years? 

A. I was a teenager in the late 1970s, so I listened to The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, the Village People, Bread, Air Supply, Fleetwood Mac, The Captain and Tennille, and others like that.

6) While he's famous for singing about San Francisco, Tony is a proud son of New York. Born in Queens, he chose to end his career at Radio City Music Hall and was excited to perform "New York State of Mind" with Billy Joel at Shea Stadium in 2008. Do you have a favorite Billy Joel song?

A. Piano Man is probably my favorite, but We Didn't Start the Fire is also an interesting piece of work.
7) Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra may have been competitors but they shared mutual admiration. Sinatra called Bennett "the best singer in the business," and Bennett did a Sinatra homage album called Perfectly Frank. Think of people you have worked with over the years. Tell us about someone who has impressed you, and why.

A. When I started writing for the newspaper, there were two women working there doing copyediting and other chores concerning layout. At that time, the paper was put together using copy and paste - literally, printing things out and gluing the paper together. One of the women was B.J., and she is still there. She has always been in the background but as everyone knows, it is the woman behind the boss who is really in charge of things. She has gone through several editor changes and still keeps a firm grip on the structure of the paper, adapting to the upgrades and changes from cut and paste to computers, and cameras from real black and white photos to digital. She's an institution and no one thinks about it, but she's the one who knows how to spell all the names, the location of all the small communities and who lives there, and the ins and outs of our little part of the world. I am impressed with her staying power, her editing abilities, and her fortitude. She's a strong woman.

8) The 1970s were a difficult period for Tony. During the days of disco and Studio 54, he said singing new songs made him feel like his mother, a talented seamstress, when she was forced to make a cheap dress. OK, so Tony doesn't like disco! Is there a genre of music you just don't care for?

A. Rap and Hip Hop. I don't get them. I suppose I am of the wrong generation. I actually like disco.

9) Random question: Imagine you're the passenger in a long car ride. Are you more likely to be calm or fidgety?

A. It depends. If I've been kidnapped and forced in the car at gunpoint, I'd be very fidgety indeed. If it's a long ride with my husband to a vacation destination, we will have a book on tape playing and I will simply be there, listening.

I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however. 


  1. It must have been so exciting to go to Paris! I loved the disco era! Don't like most rap, and hip hop that is vulgar.

  2. BJ sounds like a real VIP at the paper. No wonder you admire her. Too bad others don't seem to notice what you see so clearly.

  3. Your answer to number seven actually describes very well the person I worked with and tried to tell about in my answer number seven. Good job.

  4. #5 I love all those bands... That's music! Not todays music but the younger generation probably laughs at our music like I did my parents music (but I have been listening to big band music lately).

  5. BJ, in #7, sounds like an institution and legend!

  6. BJ sounds fascinating. It must be a challenge to be a journalist in the "country".

  7. I love all of the 70's groups you mentioned! Great choices. I also like We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel...that would have been my next pick also. He is so talented. Loved your answers! Have a nice weekend.

  8. I worked for awhile at a paper that did paste up. I learned a lot about how to put a newspaper together.

    Walt and I used to listen to book on tape, but I downloaded them from We listened to a lot--a whole book will take us to Santa Barbara and back. But my iPod stopped working and I can't figure out how to get books to play in the car any more. But it doesn't matter because we hardly go anywhere any more either.

  9. Thank you, Anita! Appreciate your comments!


Thank you for dropping by! I appreciate comments and love to hear from others. I appreciate your time and responses.