Download Instrumental This song is the epitome of big band – been working on it for two weeks. You can’t perform this just anywhere. If you’re a single performer, it’ll look too much like karaoke and cheapen your presentation. You have to use this as a big production number in an actual show to be effective. Nevertheless (another good song), it should be on your menu to trot out when needed.
Tony Bennett aligned himself with the city of San Francisco (he left his heart there, you know). And when you think of Frank Sinatra (which I seldom do, but it happens), New York City immediately comes to mind. In truth, Liza Minnelli was the first to sing “New York, New York” in a musical of the same name in 1977. It was actually pretty awful… Liza’s typical quivery-voiced, Broadway-esque bilge. The following year, Sinatra started performing it in his Radio City Music Hall concerts and it soon became his signature tune.
The song is best understood from the perspective of an entertainer who leaves a small town in hopes of making it in the big city. Instead of worrying and fretting about the difficulties he will face, our boy (or girl) embraces the challenge, knowing full well that “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”. It’s a song of inspiration and all about beating the odds. Must be the reason it’s played every year before the horses run at the Belmont Stakes. And why it’s played at the end of a winning game at Yankee Stadium – they play Liza’s version when they lose. Most appropriate…
[Backup Tracks on the Jazz/Swing List]