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Valentine's Day 2012 Google Doodle is a Tony Bennett love note

February 13, 2012 |  7:00 am

Valentine’s Day 2012 is celebrated with a video-animation Google Doodle that also showcases the tender crooning of Tony Bennett at age 25, sweetly hitting the high notes of “Cold, Cold Heart.”

The song was written by country boy Hank Williams, who said on “The Kate Smith Evening Hour” in a 1952 appearance that “Cold, Cold Heart” had “been awful kind to me and the boys,” providing them with “quite a few beans and biscuits.”

It was a moneymaker. And it also was kind to Bennett. His version, with an orchestral arrangement by Percy Faith, spent 27 weeks on the U.S. Billboard chart.

But Bennett, a self-described “city boy,” had his qualms about singing a country ballad.

In an appearance on “Imus in the Morning” in 2006, Bennett recalled saying at the time that it was a great song -- “Hank Williams knows how to write songs. But I’m a city boy, and I wouldn’t be able to sing a country song.”

Bennett did record “Cold, Cold Heart,” and -- as they would say on “American Idol” -- he made it his own.

The Google doodlers continue to make their piece of the search engine giant their own too. With this Valentine doodle, the team adds another video doodle to a growing collection.

The team’s creations have become increasingly sophisticated in the years since 1998, when it all began with a stick figure by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Over time, the doodles have become “more and more involved and complicated,” team member Sophia Foster-Dimino said in a December interview with The Times. “More like works of art than fun gags.”

Among the team’s favorites are other video doodles: For the Charlie Chaplin video, "everyone took on a role as someone in the movie and worked with a video crew," Foster-Dimino said. The elaborate Halloween 2011 doodle involved time-lapse video, and the interactive Gumby doodle was done in the style of Art Clokey with his son, Joe Clokey, among supervisors on the project.


  • The concept drawing for the Gumby doodle.
  • One of the Gumby figures. Puppet maker Nicole La-Pointe McKay says three to six puppets were used for each figure.
  • One step in creating the segments of animation, which were assembled by Google.
  • A Pokey figure rears back with the help of a metal arm.
  • A still from the finished doodle.


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-- Amy Hubbard+