San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate

Many people think of Tony Bennett and his left-behind heart when they think of San Francisco tunes. But residents know that our theme song is really “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate.”

Frisco Vista has suffered some connectivity problems recently (please let me know if you have trouble accessing the site or making comments). I think I have the problems repaired now, so we’re back open for business. On that note, let’s hear the original Jeanette Macdonald version of the city spreading her wings, from the MGM movie San Francisco (1936), starring Clark Gable as Blackie Norton:

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  1. You’re b-a-c-K! and with one of my favorite songs. I still get all emotional when I see that scene from the movie, hokey as it is.

  2. Not many other singers have recorded that song. Vikki Carr did on one of her albums. She sings it almost as a love song.

    There is a Jeanette Macdonald website which says that the later recording of the song by her is NOT one of her better efforts.

    Periodically it was sung at the ‘Stick. I don’t know if it has ever been sung at Pac Bell Park.

    A long time ago, Joe Alioto had a big party at Lotta’s Fountain to celebrate the quake & fire and a lot of people showed up to sing it in unison. But traffic was slower 40 or so years ago. Now people would probably get run over and the survivors of the quake are dwindling with each passing year.

    And by the by, as someone who considers SF his second home, WHY do you call it FRISCO ? You would have been pilloried for it way back when…It just wasn’t done and was considered an insult.

  3. Thanks, George, for the good information.

    The Herb Caen-inspired anti-Frisco stuff is just silly; even Caen turned against it at the end of his llife. You can read more here.

  4. Thank you. Had been looking for this song. We were immigrants and my father had all his eight kids singing this when we arrived in the good ol USofA