“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. “When the Saints Go Marching In”. “New York, New York”.
Some special cities are celebrated with memorable songs. And when you think of Chicago, you think of Frank Sinatra’s ode to the city, “My Kind of Town”.
“My Kind of Town” was composed by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen as part of the musical score for “Robin and the 7 Hoods”, a 1964 musical film that starred several members of the famous Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, and Dean Martin). The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, a song from the musical score for the movie “Mary Poppins”.
Of course, it’s Sinatra’s voice that we hear when the song plays in our heads. In the movie, Sinatra plays a fictional mob boss who was framed for murdering a sheriff, but who has just been acquitted. He walks out of the courthouse singing the lyrics: “Now this could only happen to a guy like me and only happen in a town like this. This is my kind of town.”
Sinatra ended up recording several versions of “My Kind of Town” including one with his son, Frank Sinatra Jr., and at least one live version on the album “The Ultimate Rat Pack Collection: Live & Swingin’”.
The song’s lyrics celebrate Chicago residents as “my kind of people too. People who smile at you” and Chicago as an epic town “that won’t let you down”. As Sinatra sings, “It’s my kind of town.”
Traveling to Chicago for business? We asked Hilary of H. Bune Designs to tell us what she'd recommend to a visitor who only has two hours or an afternoon to spend seeing Chicago. If you love architecture or history, she suggests taking the Chicago Architecture Foundation Riverboat Tour. Hilary, who loves the tour enough to have taken it three times, says it's perfect if your free time is limited because the tour only lasts about 90 minutes