A sign erected in front of the Gables in Bloomington, IN to commemorate Hoagy Carmichael, composer of "Stardust".
|Music by||Hoagy Carmichael|
|Lyrics by||Mitchell Parish|
|Original artist||Hoagy Carmichael's orchestra|
|Recorded by||Many artists|
"Stardust" is an American popular song composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish. Originally titled "Star Dust", Carmichael first recorded the song at the Gennett Records studio in Richmond, Indiana. The song, "a song about a song about love", played in an idiosyncratic melody in medium tempo, became an American standard, and is considered one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, with over 1,500 total recordings. In 2004, Carmichael's original 1927 recording of the song was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.
"Stardust" (the song's original title was "Star Dust", which has long been compounded into "Stardust") was written at the Keuka Hotel on Keuka Lake, a Finger Lake in Western New York, on an old upright piano, and first recorded in Richmond, Indiana, for Gennett Records (Gennett 6311) by Carmichael, with Emil Seidel and his Orchestra and the Dorsey brothers as "Hoagy Carmichael and His Pals," on October 31, 1927, as a peppy (but mid-tempo) jazz instrumental. Carmichael said he was inspired by the types of improvisations made by Bix Beiderbecke. The tune at first attracted only moderate attention, mostly from fellow musicians, a few of whom (including Don Redman) recorded their own versions of Carmichael's tune.
Mitchell Parish wrote lyrics for the song, based on his own and Carmichael's ideas, which were published in 1929. A slower version had been recorded in October 1928, but the real transformation came on May 16, 1930, when bandleader Isham Jones recorded it as a sentimental ballad.
Jones' recording became the first of many hit versions of the tune. Young baritone sensation Bing Crosby released a version in 1931, and by the following year, over two dozen bands had recorded "Stardust." It was then covered by almost every prominent band of that era. Versions have been recorded by Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Tommy Dorsey, Tex Beneke with The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Recorded in New York City on February 1, 1947 and released by RCA Victor Records as catalogue number 20-2016B and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue number BD 5968), Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Jan Garber, Fumio Nanri, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole (considered by many to be the best), Mel Tormé, Connie Francis, Jean Sablon, Keely Smith, Terumasa Hino, Harry Connick Jr, Hank Crawford, Ella Fitzgerald, Olavi Virta, The Peanuts, Django Reinhardt, Barry Manilow, John Coltrane, Earl Grant, Willie Nelson, Billy Ward and His Dominoes, George Benson, Mina, Ken Hirai, Al Hirt, Los Hombres Calientes and many others. Glenn Miller also released a recording of the song on V-Disc, No. 65A, with a spoken introduction recorded with the AAFTC Orchestra which was released in December, 1943. Billy Ward and His Dominoes had a #13 hit with the song on the Billboard Pop chart. However, it has been the Artie Shaw version of 1941, with memorable solos by Billy Butterfield (trumpet) and Jack Jenney (trombone) that remains the favorite orchestral version of the Big Band era. Ringo Starr recorded a version for his first solo album, Sentimental Journey, in 1970, after the break-up of The Beatles. Sergio Franchi covered the song on his 1964 RCA Victor album The Exciting Voice of Fergio Franchi. Rod Stewart recorded the song for his album "Stardust: The Great American Songbook Volume III" (2004). Katie Melua recorded a cover on her EP Nine Million Bicycles in 2005. Michael Bublé recorded it for his album "Crazy Love" released in 2009.
Certain recorded variations on the song have become notable. Armstrong recorded "Stardust" on November 4, 1931, and on an alternate take inserted the lyric 'oh, memory' just before an instrumental break. This version became prized over the issued take among jazz collectors, including Carmichael. Thirty years later, Sinatra recorded just the verse on his November 20, 1961 recording for his album Sinatra and Strings - much to Carmichael's initial chagrin, although Hoagy is said to have changed his mind upon hearing the recording.
The early portion of the 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre included a rendition of the song played by the fictional "Ramón Raquello and his Orchestra". The actual band that performed in the broadcast featured among others a young Mitch Miller.
Les Deux Love Orchestra included their version of Stardust on the 2001 album, "Music From Les Deux Cafés."
A 1953/54 version by Eddie Cochran was released in 1997 on the album Rockin' It Country Style.
In 2007 The Japonize Elephants' Evan Farrell recorded Stardust which was released on the 2012 album Melodie Fantastique.
The original 1927 recording on Gennett Records by Hoagy Carmichael and His Pals was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1999, "Stardust" was included in the "NPR 100", a list compiled by National Public Radio of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century. In 2000, Swedish music reviewers voted it as "the tune of the century", with Kurt Weill's "Mack the Knife" as second. In 2004, Carmichael's original 1927 recording of the song was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry!
See also 
- Sudhalter 2003, p.XI. See also p.123: "..."Star Dust" is obviously a song about a song—a genre relatively rare in American popular music. There had been such songs before: Irving Berlin's 1909 "That Mesmerizing Mendelssohn Tune" (about the great German composer's famed Spring Song) is one example among many. But none had been a major song about a song—particularly a song that didn't actually exist. This was new."
- National Public Radio. "Hoagy Carmichael: 'Stardust Melodies'". Jazz Profiles. NPR Music.
- "Hoagy Carmichael Collection". Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
- "Brief Biography of Hoagy Carmichael". Dlib.indiana.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
- Sudhalter 2002, p.139
- "RCA Victor Records in the 20-2000 to 20-2999 series". 78discography.com. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
- Armstrong, Louis. Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man 1923-1934. Columbia/Legacy 57176, 1994. Insert booklet, p. 26
- Eder, Bruce. "Mitch Miller > Biography". allmusic. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
- "Fallen Angel overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Email Jazz News". All About Jazz.
- "Standards overview". Allmusic.com.
- NASA (May 11, 2009). "STS-97 Wakeup Calls". NASA. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2008-08-09.
- Forte, Allen (1995). "Ballads of Hoagy Carmichael, Arthur Schwartz, Vernon Duke, John Green, Burton Lane, and Jimmy Van Heusen". The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04399-X.
- Sudhalter, Richard M. (2003). Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516898-4.
- Stardust on Sold on Song (BBC)
- "Stardust" (played by Hoagy Carmichael, 1933) The Red Hot Jazz Archive
- "Stardust" (played by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra, 1931) The Red Hot Jazz Archive
- "Stardust" (Alternative version played by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra, 1931) The Red Hot Jazz Archive
- "Stardust" (played by Fats Waller, 1937) The Red Hot Jazz Archive