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“And then it happened—that queer sensation that this melody was bigger than me. Maybe I hadn’t written it at all. The recollection of how, when and where it all happened became vague as the lingering strains hung in the rafters of the studio. I wanted to shout back at it, ‘maybe I didn’t write you, but I found you.’” – Hoagy Carmichael, on “Stardust”

Hoagy Carmichael wrote the song “Stardust” in 1927, with lyrics by Mitchell Parish in 1929. Since then, the song has been recorded over 1,500 times, making it one of the most popular standards of the 20th century. In our latest episode, we listen to a wide variety of “Stardust” recordings and explore how each artist puts their own spin on this classic. We’ll hear a range of artistic styles and genres, and each variation will bring to light the brilliant, flexible harmonic and melodic foundations of Hoagy Carmichael's composition.

Hoagy Carmichael’s original recording of “Stardust” was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2004 and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995. Check out Indiana University’s Hoagy Carmichael Collection for photographs, transcripts, and other archival materials.

We’ve created a companion playlist which includes the songs featured in today’s episode as well as some extra treats. Check it out on Spotify.

Click here to listen to Mike recite Parish’s lyrics. A transcript of this episode can be accessed here.

Song Credits:

  • Stardust, Performed by Bob Dylan, Columbia Records, 2017
  • Stardust, Performed by Hoagy Carmichael and His Pals, Master Tape Records, 1927
  • Stardust, Performed by Isham Jones Orchestra, Coast Records, 1925
  • Stardust, Performed by Artie Shaw and his Orchestra, Victor Records, 1940
  • Stardust, Performed by Louis Armstrong, Columbia/Legacy, 1931
  • Stardust, Performed by Fats Waller, BMG Music, 1937
  • Stardust, Performed by Art Tatum, UMG Recordings, 1934
  • Stardust, Performed by Nat King Cole, Capitol Records, 1957
  • Stardust, Performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Ellis Larkins, Verve Music Group, 1954
  • Stardust, Performed by Willie Nelson, Sony Music Entertainment, 1978
  • Stardust, Performed by Billy Ward and The Dominoes, Universal Digital Enterprises, 1957
  • Stardust, Performed by Cal Tjader, Verve Music Group, 1964
  • Stardust, Performed by Frank Sinatra, Universal Music Enterprises, 1962
  • Stardust, Performed by Wynton Marsalis, Sony Music Entertainment, 1984
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