Sharon was born in London (September 17, 1923) to an English mother and Latvian-born father. He emigrated to the United States in early 1954, becoming a naturalized citizen five years later.
Ralph Sharon made his professional debut with Ted Heath in 1946, then moved on to Frank Weir's orchestra before leading his own sextet. He moved to the U.S. in 1953, where he initially worked as an accompanist to Chris Connor. In 1957, he became musical director and pianist for Tony Bennett, the start of a more than 50 year working relationship as Bennett's "man behind the music" on many Grammy-winning studio recordings, and touring with Bennett for many years.
He found "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" for Bennett, a year after placing it in a bureau and forgetting about it. Sharon discovered the manuscript while packing for a tour that included San Francisco. While Bennett and Sharon liked the...