Hoagy Carmichael
Overview
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust
Stardust (song)
"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...

", "Georgia On My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

", "The Nearness of You
The Nearness of You
"The Nearness of You" is a popular song, written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington.The biggest selling 1938 version was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with a vocal by Ray Eberle...

", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.

Alec Wilder
Alec Wilder
Alec Wilder was an American composer.-Biography:...

, in his study of the American popular song, concluded that Hoagy Carmichael was the "most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented" of the hundreds of writers composing pop songs in the first half of the 20th century.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

, Carmichael was the only son of Howard Clyde Carmichael of Scottish ancestry and Lida Robison.
Encyclopedia
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, pianist
Pianist
A pianist is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.-Choice of genres:...

, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust
Stardust (song)
"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...

", "Georgia On My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

", "The Nearness of You
The Nearness of You
"The Nearness of You" is a popular song, written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington.The biggest selling 1938 version was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with a vocal by Ray Eberle...

", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.

Alec Wilder
Alec Wilder
Alec Wilder was an American composer.-Biography:...

, in his study of the American popular song, concluded that Hoagy Carmichael was the "most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented" of the hundreds of writers composing pop songs in the first half of the 20th century.

Early life

Born in Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

, Carmichael was the only son of Howard Clyde Carmichael of Scottish ancestry and Lida Robison. He was named Hoagland after a circus troupe "The Hoaglands" who stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother's pregnancy. Howard was a horse-drawn taxi driver and electrician, and Lida a versatile pianist who played accompaniment at silent movies and for parties. The family moved frequently, as Howard sought better employment for his growing family. At six, Carmichael started to sing and play the piano, absorbing easily his mother's keyboard skills. By high school, the piano was the focus of his after-school life, and for inspiration he would listen to ragtime pianists Hank Wells and Hube Hanna. At eighteen, the small, wiry, pale Carmichael was living in Indianapolis, trying to help his family’s income working in manual jobs in construction, a bicycle chain factory, and a slaughterhouse. The bleak time was partly spelled by four-handed piano duets with his mother and by his strong friendship with Reg DuValle, black bandleader and pianist known as "the elder statesman of Indiana jazz" and "the Rhythm King", who taught him piano jazz improvization.
The death of his three-year-old sister in 1918 affected him deeply, and he wrote "My sister Joanne—the victim of poverty. We couldn’t afford a good doctor or good attention, and that’s when I vowed I would never be broke again in my lifetime." She may have died from influenza, which had swept the world that year. Carmichael earned his first money ($5.00) as a musician playing at a fraternity dance that year and began his musical career.

Carmichael attended Indiana University and the Indiana University School of Law
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
The Indiana University Maurer School of Law is located on the flagship campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The law school is one of two law schools operated by the Indiana University system, the other being the Indiana University McKinney School of Law...

, where he received his Bachelor's degree in 1925 and a law degree in 1926. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma
Kappa Sigma , commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 282 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 240,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 175,000 living...

 fraternity and played the piano all around the state with his "Collegians" to support his studies. He met, befriended, and played with Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s...

, the great cornetist (and sometime pianist) and fellow Mid-westerner. Under Beiderbecke’s spell, Carmichael started to play the cornet as well, but found that he didn't have the lips for it, and only played it for a short while. He was also influenced by Beiderbecke's impressionistic and classical musical ideas. On a visit to Chicago, Carmichael was introduced by Beiderbecke to Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong , nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana....

, who was then playing with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, and with whom he would collaborate later.

He began to compose songs, "Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues is a 1926 popular song written by Hoagy Carmichael, Fred B. Callahan and Irving Mills. Paul Whiteman's orchestra recorded it in 1927, featuring piano and lead vocals by Carmichael.The song is an evocative washerwoman's lament...

" and "Boneyard Shuffle" for Curtis Hitch, and also "Riverboat Shuffle
Riverboat Shuffle
"Riverboat Shuffle" is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish and Dick Voynow. First recorded by Bix Beiderbecke and The Wolverines in 1924, it was Carmichael's first composition and become a Dixieland standard. The Wolverines released the song as a...

", recorded by Beiderbecke, which became a staple of jazz and Carmichael’s first recorded song. After graduating in 1926, he moved to Miami to join a local law firm but, failing the bar exam, returned to Indiana in 1927. He joined an Indiana law firm and passed the state bar, but devoted most of his energies to music, arranging band dates, and "writing tunes". He had discovered his method of songwriting, which he described later: "You don't write melodies, you find them…If you find the beginning of a good song, and if your fingers do not stray, the melody should come out of hiding in a short time."

Early career

Later in 1927, Carmichael’s career started off well. Carmichael finished and recorded one of his most famous songs, "Star Dust
Stardust (song)
"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...

" (later re-named "Stardust", with lyrics added in 1929), at the Gennett Records
Gennett Records
Gennett was a United States based record label which flourished in the 1920s.-Label history:Gennett records was founded in Richmond, Indiana by the Starr Piano Company, and released its first records in October 1917. The company took its name from its top managers: Harry, Fred and Clarence Gennett....

 studio in Richmond, Indiana
Richmond, Indiana
Richmond is a city largely within Wayne Township, Wayne County, in east central Indiana, United States, which borders Ohio. The city also includes the Richmond Municipal Airport, which is in Boston Township and separated from the rest of the city...

, with Carmichael doing the piano solo. The song, an idiosyncratic melody in medium tempo, actually a song about a song, later became an American standard, recorded by hundreds of artists. Shortly thereafter, Carmichael got more recognition when Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman
Paul Samuel Whiteman was an American bandleader and orchestral director.Leader of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s, Whiteman's recordings were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz"...

 recorded "Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues is a 1926 popular song written by Hoagy Carmichael, Fred B. Callahan and Irving Mills. Paul Whiteman's orchestra recorded it in 1927, featuring piano and lead vocals by Carmichael.The song is an evocative washerwoman's lament...

", with Carmichael playing and singing, and the Dorsey brothers and Bix Beiderbecke in the orchestra. Despite his growing fame, at this stage Carmichael was still held back by his inability to sight-read and notate music properly, though innovative for the time. With coaching, he became more proficient at arranging his own music.

His first major song with his own lyrics was "Rockin' Chair", recorded by Armstrong and Mildred Bailey
Mildred Bailey
Mildred Bailey was a popular and influential American jazz singer during the 1930s, known as "The Rockin' Chair Lady" and "Mrs. Swing"...

, and eventually with his own hand-picked studio band (featuring Bix, Bubber Miley, Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the "King of Swing".In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America...

, Tommy Dorsey
Tommy Dorsey
Thomas Francis "Tommy" Dorsey, Jr. was an American jazz trombonist, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader of the Big Band era. He was known as "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing", due to his smooth-toned trombone playing. He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey...

, Bud Freeman
Bud Freeman
Lawrence "Bud" Freeman was a U.S. jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, known mainly for playing the tenor saxophone, but also able at the clarinet. He had a smooth and full tenor sax style with a heavy robust swing. He was one of the most influential and important jazz tenor saxophonists of...

, Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang
Eddie Lang was an American jazz guitarist, regarded as the Father of Jazz Guitar. He played a Gibson L-4 and L-5 guitar, providing great influence for many guitarists, including Django Reinhardt.-Biography:...

, Joe Venuti, and Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa
Gene Krupa was an American jazz and big band drummer and composer, known for his highly energetic and flamboyant style.-Biography:...

) on May 15, 1930. In the future, however, most of his successful songs would have lyrics provided by collaborators. After Carmichael realized he missed making music and was not cut out to be a lawyer, he left his law practice forever and started working with musicals in Hollywood. He stayed with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra for a while but no work came of it and he moved to New York City in the summer of 1929.

1930s

In New York, Carmichael met Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions...

's agent and publisher Irving Mills and hired him to set up recording dates. In October 1929 the stock market crashed and Carmichael's hard-earned savings declined substantially. Fortunately, Louis Armstrong then recorded "Rockin' Chair" at Okeh studios, giving a badly needed boost to Carmichael. Carmichael had begun to work at an investment house and was considering a switch in career when he composed "Georgia on My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

", perhaps most famous in the Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson , known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records...

 rendition recorded many years later.

Carmichael composed and recorded "Up a Lazy River" in 1930 (lyrics by Sidney Arodin
Sidney Arodin
Sidney Arnandan or Arnondrin, better known as Sidney Arodin was an American jazz clarinetist and songwriter, best known for co-writing the pop standard "Lazy River" with Hoagy Carmichael.Arodin began playing clarinet at age 15 and played at local New Orleans gatherings and on riverboats...

) and the first recorded version of "Stardust" with lyrics (by Mitchell Parish
Mitchell Parish
Mitchell Parish was an American lyricist.-Early life:Parish was born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky to a Jewish family in Lithuania. His family emigrated to the United States, arriving on February 3, 1901 on the SS Dresden when he was less than a year old...

) was recorded by Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

 in 1931. He joined ASCAP in 1931 and began working for Ralph Peer’s Southern Music Company in 1932 as a songwriter, the first music firm to occupy the new Brill Building, famous as a New York songwriting mecca. It was a low paying but steady job at a time when the Depression was having a harsh effect on live jazz performance and many musicians were out of work. Bix Beiderbecke’s early death also darkened Carmichael’s mood. Of that time, he wrote later: "I was tiring of jazz and I could see that other musicians were tiring as well. The boys were losing their enthusiasm for the hot stuff…No more hot licks, no more thrills."

The elegy for hot jazz was premature, but Swing was just around the corner and jazz would soon turn in another direction, with new bandleaders like the Dorseys and Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the "King of Swing".In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America...

, and new singers like Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 leading the way. Carmichael’s output soon would be heading in that direction. In 1933 Carmichael began his collaboration with newly arrived lyricist Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others...

 on "Thanksgiving", "Moon Country", and "Lazybones", which was a smash hit selling over 350,000 copies in three months. Carmichael's financial condition improved dramatically as royalties started to pour in. Now he was hobnobbing with George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

, Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

, Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions...

, and other music giants in the New York scene. His success improved his social life considerably and now he could afford a comfortable apartment and dapper clothes.

Carmichael started to emerge as a solo singer-performer, first at parties, then professionally. He described his unique, laconic voice as being "the way a shaggy dog looks…I have Wabash fog and sycamore twigs in my throat". Some fans were dismayed as he steadily veered away from hot jazz, but recordings by Louis Armstrong continued to "jazz up" Carmichael’s popular songs. In 1935 he left Peers and started composing songs for a division of Warner Brothers, establishing his connection with Hollywood. His song "Moonburn", his first movie song, appeared in the film version of Anything Goes
Anything Goes
Anything Goes is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The original book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, heavily revised by the team of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London...

.

In 1935 Carmichael married preacher’s daughter Ruth Menardi. He moved to California and accepted a contract with Paramount for $1,000 a week, joining other famous songwriters working for the Hollywood studios, including Harry Warren
Harry Warren
Harry Warren was an American composer and lyricist. Warren was the first major American songwriter to write primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song eleven times and won three Oscars for composing "Lullaby of Broadway", "You'll Never Know" and "On the Atchison,...

 (Warners), E. Y. Harburg (MGM), Ralph Rainger
Ralph Rainger
Ralph Rainger was an American composer of popular music principally for films.-Biography:Born Ralph Reichenthal in New York City, Rainger embarked on a legal career before escaping to Broadway where he became Clifton Webb's accompanist...

 and Leo Robin
Leo Robin
Leo Robin was an American composer, lyricist and songwriter. He is probably best known for collaborating with Ralph Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory," sung by Bob Hope in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938.-Biography:Robin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and...

 at Paramount. Soon, the Carmichaels were accepted members of the Hollywood community, attending parties and hanging out in palatial homes. In 1937 Carmichael appeared in the movie Topper
Topper (film)
Topper is a 1937 American comedy film which tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple. It was adapted by Eric Hatch, Jack Jevne and Eddie Moran from the novel by Thorne Smith. The film was directed by Norman Z. McLeod, produced by...

, serenading Cary Grant
Cary Grant
Archibald Alexander Leach , better known by his stage name Cary Grant, was an English actor who later took U.S. citizenship...

 and Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett
-Early life:She was born in New York City, the daughter of actor Richard Bennett and actress Adrienne Morrison, whose father was the stage actor Lewis Morrison , a wealthy performer of English and Spanish ancestry...

 with his song "Old Man Moon".

In 1937 he wrote the song "Chimes of Indiana" which was presented to Indiana University as a gift by the class of 1935. It was made the school's official co-alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

 in 1978. (Carmichael also holds the distinction of being awarded an honorary doctorate
Honorary degree
An honorary degree or a degree honoris causa is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, study, and the passing of examinations...

 in music by the university in 1972.)

With Paramount lyricist Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
Frank Henry Loesser was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and scores to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for...

, he wrote "Two Sleepy People
Two Sleepy People
"Two Sleepy People" is a song written on September 10, 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser.As well as being recorded by Carmichael himself, the song has been performed and recorded by a number of artists including Al Bowlly, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Art Garfunkel, Fats Waller,...

" in 1938. Around the same time Carmichael composed "Heart and Soul", "Small Fry", and "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
"I Get Along Without You Very Well" is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1939, with lyrics based on a poem written by Jane Brown Thompson...

" (premiered by Dick Powell
Dick Powell
Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss.Despite the same last name he was not related to William Powell, Eleanor Powell or Jane Powell.-Biography:...

 in a radio broadcast). However, countering these successes, Carmichael's and Mercer's Broadway score for Walk With Music was unsuccessful. In 1939, Hoagy Bix, the Carmichaels' first child, was born.

1940s

The growing Carmichael family was thriving in Los Angeles in the former mansion of chewing gum heir William P. Wrigley, Jr. when World War II broke out. Hoagy Carmichael maintained a strong personal and professional relationship with Johnny Mercer. That continuing collaboration led to "Skylark
Skylark (song)
"Skylark" is an American popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1941. Mercer said that he struggled for a year after he got the music from Carmichael before he could get the lyrics right....

" in 1942, recorded almost immediately by Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller
Alton Glenn Miller was an American jazz musician , arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands"...

, Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore
Dinah Shore was an American singer, actress, and television personality...

, and Helen Forrest
Helen Forrest
Helen Forrest was one of the most popular female jazz vocalists during America's Big Band era. She was born Helen Fogel to a Jewish family in Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 12, 1917...

 (with Harry James
Harry James
Henry Haag “Harry” James was a trumpeter who led a jazz swing band during the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 1940s. He was especially known among musicians for his astonishing technical proficiency as well as his superior tone.-Biography:He was born in Albany, Georgia, the son of a bandleader of a...

). In 1943, Carmichael returned to the movies and played "Cricket" in the screen adaptation of Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

's To Have and Have Not
To Have and Have Not (film)
To Have and Have Not is a 1944 romance-war-adventure film. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and Lauren Bacall in her first film...

, opposite Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.The American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema....

 and Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall is an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks.She first emerged as leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have And Have Not and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in The Big Sleep and Dark Passage ,...

, where he sang "Hong Kong Blues" and "The Rhumba Jumps", and played piano as Bacall sang "How Little We Know". He also contributed to the 1941 Max Fleischer
Max Fleischer
Max Fleischer was an American animator. He was a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios...

 animated film, Mister Bug Goes to Town
Mister Bug Goes to Town
Mr. Bug Goes to Town, also known as Hoppity Goes to Town and Bugville, is an animated feature produced by Fleischer Studios and released to theaters by Paramount Pictures on December 5, 1941...

(later reissued as Hoppity Goes To Town).

Carmichael appeared as an actor in a total of 14 motion pictures, always playing at least one of his songs, including Young Man with a Horn
Young Man with a Horn (film)
Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name aboutBix Beiderbecke, the legendary jazz cornetist...

(based on friend Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was an American jazz cornetist, jazz pianist, and composer.With Louis Armstrong, Beiderbecke was one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s...

's life) with Bacall and Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas is an American stage and film actor, film producer and author. His popular films include Out of the Past , Champion , Ace in the Hole , The Bad and the Beautiful , Lust for Life , Paths of Glory , Gunfight at the O.K...

, and multi-Academy Award winner The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film directed by William Wyler, and starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, and Harold Russell, a United States paratrooper who lost both hands in a military training accident. The film is about three United States...

with Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy was an American actress. Trained as a dancer, she devoted herself fully to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films. Originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles...

 and Fredric March
Fredric March
Fredric March was an American stage and film actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr...

), in which he teaches a disabled veteran with metal prostheses to play "Chop Sticks". He described his screen persona as the "hound-dog-faced old musical philosopher noodling on the honky-tonk piano, saying to a tart with a heart of gold: "He'll be back, honey. He's all man"."

When composing, Carmichael was incessant. According to his son Randy, he worked over a song for days or even weeks until it was perfect. His perfectionism extended to his clothes, grooming, and eating as well. Once the work was done, however, Carmichael would cut loose—relax, play golf, drink, and indulge in the Hollywood high life.

Carmichael was a Republican supporter and anti-FDR, voting for Wendell Wilkie for president in 1940, and was often aghast at the left-leaning political views of his friends in Hollywood. His contribution to the war effort was similar to other patriotic efforts by Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin was an American composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history.His first hit song, "Alexander's Ragtime Band", became world famous...

 ("This Is the Army
This Is the Army
This Is the Army is a 1943 American wartime motion picture produced by Hal B. Wallis and Jack L. Warner, and directed by Michael Curtiz, and a wartime musical designed to boost morale in the U.S. during World War II, directed by Sgt. Ezra Stone...

, Mr. Jones"), Johnny Mercer ("G.I. Jive
G.I. Jive
"G.I. Jive" is a 1944 song written and originally performed by Johnny Mercer. The single was a hit twice in 1944 by two different performers: Johnny Mercer hit number one on the Harlem Hit Parade for one week and peaked at number thirteen on the pop charts . Three months later, Louis Jordan,...

"), and Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
Frank Henry Loesser was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and scores to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for...

 ("Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" is an American patriotic song written by Frank Loesser and published as sheet music in 1942 by Famous Music Corp. The song was a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor that marked United States involvement in World War II.The song describes a chaplain ...

"). Carmichael's war time songs (most with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Paul Francis Webster
Paul Francis Webster was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award.-Biography:...

) included "My Christmas Song for You", "Don't Forget to Say 'No' Baby", "Billy-a-Dick", "The Army of Hippocrates", "Cranky Old Yank", "Eager Beaver", "No More Toujours l'Amour", "Morning Glory", and the never completed "Hitler Blues". He regularly performed on USO shows.

Carmichael's 1943 song "I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doin' Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues" is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the song with the longest title. However Carmichael admitted it was a joke; the title was intended to end with the word 'Yank'.

Between 1944 and 1948, Carmichael was the host of three musical variety radio programs. In 1944–45, the 30-minute Tonight at Hoagy's aired on Mutual
Mutual Broadcasting System
The Mutual Broadcasting System was an American radio network, in operation from 1934 to 1999. In the golden age of U.S. radio drama, MBS was best known as the original network home of The Lone Ranger and The Adventures of Superman and as the long-time radio residence of The Shadow...

 Sunday nights at 8:30 pm (Pacific time), sponsored by Safeway supermarkets. Produced by Walter Snow, the show featured Carmichael as host and vocalist. The musicians included Pee Wee Hunt
Pee Wee Hunt
Pee Wee Hunt , born Walter Gerhardt Hunt, was a jazz trombonist, vocalist and band leader....

 and Joe Venuti. Fans were rather blunt about his singing, with comments like "you can't sing for sour owl" and "your singing is so delightfully awful that it is really funny". NBC carried the 30-minute Something New at 6 pm (Pacific time) on Mondays in 1945–46. All of the musicians in this show's band, called the "Teenagers", were between the ages of 16 and 19. Carol Stewart and Gale Robbins
Gale Robbins
Gale Robbins was an American actress and singer.Born in Indiana, Robbins graduated from high school in June 1939 and began her career with the Phil Levant band in 1940...

 were the vocalists and comedy was supplied by Pinky Lee
Pinky Lee
Pincus Leff , better known as Pinky Lee, was an American burlesque comic and host of a children's television program, The Pinky Lee Show, in the early 1950s.-Biography:...

 and the team of Bob Sweeney and Hal March
Hal March
Hal March was a Jewish-American comedian and actor.-Early career:March first came to note as part of a comedy team with Bob Sweeney. The duo had their own radio show for a time and performed, in the early 1950s, as "Sweeney & March." He also partnered with actor/comic Tom d'Andrea in the early...

, later of quiz show fame. The Hoagy Carmichael Show was broadcast by CBS from October 26, 1946 until June 26, 1948. Luden's Cough Drops sponsored the 15-minute program until June 1947.

In 1948 Carmichael composed a piece called Brown County in Autumn, a nine-minute tone poem which was not well-received by critics.

1950s

"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" is a popular song with music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was written for the 1951 film, Here Comes the Groom, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song....

", with lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others...

, won Carmichael his first Academy Award for Best Original Song
Academy Award for Best Original Song
The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film...

, and Mercer his second of four. In 1952, he played his composition "My Resistance Is Low" in the movie The Las Vegas Story
The Las Vegas Story (film)
The Las Vegas Story is a 1952 suspense film noir directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Robert Sparks and Howard Hughes with Samuel Bischoff as the executive producer. The screenplay was by Paul Jarrico, Earl Felton, and Harry Essex from a story by Jay Dratler. The music score was by Leigh...

. The song did not catch fire in the U.S. but was a major hit in England, where it charted a second time in 1963 after being covered by Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 beat
Beat music
Beat music, British beat, or Merseybeat is a pop and rock music genre that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. Beat music is a fusion of rock and roll, doo wop, skiffle, R&B and soul...

 band Buddy Britten and the Regents, also appearing in instrumental form on The Shadows
The Shadows (album)
The Shadows, a 1961 rock album by British group The Shadows, was the first instrumental LP by a British group to reach number one in the UK charts.-Track listing:Side 1#"Shadoogie"...

' debut LP.

In the early 1950s, television took off and variety shows were particularly popular. Carmichael hosted Saturday Night Review in June 1953, a summer replacement series for Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows
Your Show of Shows is a live 90-minute variety show that appeared weekly in the United States on NBC , from February 25, 1950, until June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca....

, but found the pressure too intense and did not return the following summer. About 1955, Carmichael reprised the Dooley Wilson
Dooley Wilson
Arthur "Dooley" Wilson was an American actor and singer. He was born in Tyler, Texas, and is remembered as piano-player "Sam" who sings "As Time Goes By" at the request of Ilsa Lund in the 1942 film, Casablanca - the Sam in the famously misremembered line "Play it again, Sam" -- a phrase which...

 role in a short-lived television adaptation of Casablanca
Casablanca
Casablanca is a city in western Morocco, located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Grand Casablanca region.Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port. It is also the biggest city in the Maghreb. The 2004 census recorded a population of 2,949,805 in the prefecture...

on Warner Brothers Presents, playing Sam the piano player.

Among his numerous television roles, Carmichael guest starred with Keenan Wynn
Keenan Wynn
Keenan Wynn was an American character actor. His bristling mustache and expressive face were his stock in trade, and though he rarely had a lead role, he got prominent billing in most of his film and TV parts....

, Anthony George
Anthony George
Anthony George was an American actor mostly seen on television. He is best known for roles of Don Corley in Checkmate, Burke Devlin and Jeremiah Collins on Dark Shadows, and Dr. Will Vernon on One Life to Live....

, and Olive Carey
Olive Carey
Olive Carey was an American film and television actress.Born as Olive Fuller Golden in New York City, she appeared in more than fifty films, mostly westerns, including Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, often playing tough tom-boy parts. In 1920, she wed actor Harry Carey, Sr., with whom she remained...

 in the 1956 episode "Death in the Snow" of the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show
The Joseph Cotten Show
The Joseph Cotten Show is an American anthology series series hosted by and occasionally starring Joseph Cotten. The series, which first aired on NBC, aired 31 episodes from September 14, 1956, to September 13, 1957...

. He was thereafter a regular on NBC's Laramie
Laramie (TV series)
Laramie is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1963. Laramie was a Revue Studios production which originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert Crawford, Jr...

western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 series (1959–1963) with John Smith
John Smith (actor)
John Smith was an American actor remembered in particular for two NBC western television series.-Early life and career:He was born Robert Errol Van Orden, in Los Angeles, California...

 and Robert Fuller
Robert Fuller
Robert Welch is a professional wrestler and manager better known by his ring names Robert Fuller and Col. Robert Parker. Robert and his brother Ron co-owned Continental Championship Wrestling for a time.-Career:...

, co-starred in The Helen Morgan Story on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

's Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90
Playhouse 90 is an American television anthology series that was telecast on CBS from 1956 to 1960 for a total of 133 episodes. It originated from CBS Television City in Los Angeles, California...

(1957) and provided the voice for a stone-age parody of himself, "Stoney Carmichael", in an episode of ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

's The Flintstones
The Flintstones
The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that screened from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Flintstones was about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend. It...

,
which aired in September 1961. On June 15, 1961, he appeared in one of the final episodes of NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford
The Ford Show
The Ford Show is a half-hour comedy/variety program, starring singer and folk humorist Tennessee Ernie Ford, which aired in color on NBC television on Thursday evenings from October 4, 1956 to June 29, 1961....

.

Carmichael composed seven songs for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but only two made the final cut: "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love" and "When Love Goes Wrong (Nothing Goes Right)", with Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Jane Russell was an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s....

 singing the former.

As rock and roll emerged in the mid-1950s, the youth audience was drifting away from standards like Carmichael's, and the music industry found less commercial appeal in his new songs, while jazz aficionados turned their attention to bebop
Bebop
Bebop differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era, and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, intricate melodies, and rhythm sections that expanded on their role as tempo-keepers...

. Carmichael's marriage also dissolved during this time. As his song writing career started to ebb, Carmichael still received the blessings of his substantial recordings. He also wrote some songs for children.

Later years

In 1960, Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson , known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records...

' version of "Georgia on My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

" was a hit, receiving Grammys
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 for Best Male Vocal and Best Popular Single. Carmichael's rediscovery, however, did little for his new material, which was all but ignored by the recording industry, including songs such as "The Ballad of Sam Older", "A Perfect Paris Night", "Behold, How Beautiful", "Bamboo Curtains", and "Close Beside You". For his September 15, 1961 animated guest appearance in "The Hit Songwriters" episode of The Flintstones
The Flintstones
The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that screened from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Flintstones was about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend. It...

, Hoagy wrote and performed a song created especially for the show, "Yabba-Dabba-Dabba-Dabba-Doo". Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis is an American rock and roll and country music singer-songwriter and pianist. An early pioneer of rock and roll music, Lewis's career faltered after he married his young cousin, and he afterwards made a career extension to country and western music. He is known by the nickname 'The...

 recorded "Hong Kong Blues" during his final Sun
Sun Records
Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley , Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash...

 sessions in 1963, but it was never released. In 1964, while The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 were exploding on the scene, Carmichael lamented, "I'll betcha I have twenty-five songs lying in my trunk" and no one was calling to say "have you got a real good song for such-and such an artist". Nonetheless, royalties of his standards were still bringing in over $300,000 a year. George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 would later record two of Carmichael's songs ("Baltimore Oriole" and "Hong Kong Blues") for his 1981 LP Somewhere In England
Somewhere in England
Somewhere in England is an album by George Harrison, released in 1981. Recorded as Harrison was becoming increasingly frustrated with the music industry, the album's making was a long one, and witnessed a tragic event in his life.-History:...

.

His attempt to compose movie scores failed when his score for Hatari!
Hatari!
Hatari! is a 1962 American film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. The title means "danger" in Swahili, which was mentioned in the film as well...

was replaced by that of Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini was an American composer, conductor and arranger, best remembered for his film and television scores. He won a record number of Grammy Awards , plus a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995...

, although his song "Just for Tonight" (a re-working of "A Perfect Paris Night") is used in the film. With the Johnny Appleseed Suite, Carmichael once again tried his hand at a longer musical composition, but the episodic treatment lacked the compositional unity and momentum of works such as George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

's Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue is a musical composition by George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band written in 1924, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects....

. By 1967, Carmichael was spending time back in New York but was still unsuccessful with his new songs.

Carmichael was inducted into the USA's Songwriters Hall of Fame
Songwriters Hall of Fame
The Songwriters Hall of Fame is an arm of the National Academy of Popular Music. It was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The goal is to create a museum but as of April, 2008, the means do not yet exist and so instead it is an online...

 in 1971 along with Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions...

. The 1970s went by with little musical success and fewer people recognizing him in public. With the help and encouragement of his son Hoagy Bix, Carmichael participated in the PBS television show Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop, which featured jazz-rock versions of his hits. He appeared on Fred Rogers PBS show Old Friends, New Friends. With time on his hands, he resumed painting.

In 1977 he married Dorothy Wanda McKay. On his 80th birthday, Carmichael said "I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I know I could have accomplished a hell of a lot more... I could write anything any time I wanted to. But I let other things get in the way... I’ve been floating around in the breeze." Shortly before his death, Carmichael appeared on a UK-recorded tribute album, In Hoagland (1981), together with Annie Ross
Annie Ross
Annie Ross is an English jazz singer, and actress, best known as a member of the trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.-Early years:...

 and Georgie Fame
Georgie Fame
Georgie Fame is a British rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player. The one-time rock and roll tour musician, who had a string of 1960s hits, is still a popular performer, often working with contemporaries such as Van Morrison and Bill Wyman.-Early life:Fame took piano lessons from the...

.

Carmichael died of heart failure in Rancho Mirage, California
Rancho Mirage, California
Rancho Mirage is a resort city in Riverside County, California, United States. The population was 17,218 at the 2010 census, up from 13,249 at the 2000 census, but the seasonal population can exceed 20,000. In between Cathedral City and Palm Desert, it is one of the eight cities of the Coachella...

, on December 27, 1981. He is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 80,405 at the 2010 census....

.

Legacy

  • In 1986 the Carmichael family donated his archives, piano, and memorabilia to Indiana University, which established a Hoagy Carmichael Collection in its Archives of Traditional Music and the Hoagy Carmichael Room to permanently display selections from the collection.
  • In 2007 Carmichael was inducted into the Gennett Records
    Gennett Records
    Gennett was a United States based record label which flourished in the 1920s.-Label history:Gennett records was founded in Richmond, Indiana by the Starr Piano Company, and released its first records in October 1917. The company took its name from its top managers: Harry, Fred and Clarence Gennett....

     Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana
    Richmond, Indiana
    Richmond is a city largely within Wayne Township, Wayne County, in east central Indiana, United States, which borders Ohio. The city also includes the Richmond Municipal Airport, which is in Boston Township and separated from the rest of the city...

    . A bronze and ceramic plaque is placed near the location of the studio where he first recorded "Stardust."
  • On July 5, 2008, a mural with his portrait was dedicated to him on the south wall of the Readmore building in Richmond, Indiana
    Richmond, Indiana
    Richmond is a city largely within Wayne Township, Wayne County, in east central Indiana, United States, which borders Ohio. The city also includes the Richmond Municipal Airport, which is in Boston Township and separated from the rest of the city...

    . His son Randy, 67, played a few songs in the Leland Residence after the ceremony.
  • The Hoagy Carmichael Landmark Sculpture by artist Michael McAuley was dedicated at Indiana University on Sept. 18, 2008. The photo blog Hoagyland! captures the small, daily tributes left by fans at the statue.

Filmography

Year Film Role
1937 Topper
Topper (film)
Topper is a 1937 American comedy film which tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple. It was adapted by Eric Hatch, Jack Jevne and Eddie Moran from the novel by Thorne Smith. The film was directed by Norman Z. McLeod, produced by...

[uncredited]
Piano Player
1944 To Have and Have Not
To Have and Have Not (film)
To Have and Have Not is a 1944 romance-war-adventure film. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, and Lauren Bacall in her first film...

Cricket
1945 Johnny Angel
Johnny Angel
Johnny Angel is a film noir directed by Edwin L. Marin, written by Frank Gruber and Steve Fisher from the novel Mr. Angel Comes Aboard by Charles Gordon Booth. The movie features George Raft, Claire Trevor, Signe Hasso, and Hoagy Carmichael....

Celestial O'Brien
1946 Canyon Passage
Canyon Passage
Canyon Passage is a 1946 Western film directed by Jacques Tourneur and set in frontier Oregon. Featuring love triangles and a Native American uprising, it was adapted from the Saturday Evening Post novel Canyon Passage by Ernest Haycox...

Hi Linnet
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives is a 1946 American drama film directed by William Wyler, and starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, and Harold Russell, a United States paratrooper who lost both hands in a military training accident. The film is about three United States...

Uncle Butch
1947 Night Song Singer
1949 Johnny Holiday
Johnny Holiday
Johnny Holiday was an American actor who entered the field of acting at the age of 87.-Biography:...

Himself
1950 Young Man with a Horn
Young Man with a Horn (film)
Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name aboutBix Beiderbecke, the legendary jazz cornetist...

Smoke Willoughby
1952 The Las Vegas Story
The Las Vegas Story (film)
The Las Vegas Story is a 1952 suspense film noir directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Robert Sparks and Howard Hughes with Samuel Bischoff as the executive producer. The screenplay was by Paul Jarrico, Earl Felton, and Harry Essex from a story by Jay Dratler. The music score was by Leigh...

Happy
1952 Belles on Their Toes
Belles on Their Toes
Belles on Their Toes is a 1950 book written by Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. This book was the follow-up to the 1948 book Cheaper by the Dozen which covered the period before Frank Gilbreth Sr died. Belles on Their Toes was written about the family after the death of...

Thomas George Bracken
1955 Timberjack Jingles
1963 The Wheeler Dealers
The Wheeler Dealers
The Wheeler Dealers is a 1963 comedy film starring James Garner and Lee Remick and featuring Chill Wills and Jim Backus...

[uncredited]
Man in Jim Backus' office
1965 The Man Who Bought Paradise (TV) Mr Leoni

Songs (selection)

Year Song Lyrics by
1924 "Riverboat Shuffle
Riverboat Shuffle
"Riverboat Shuffle" is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish and Dick Voynow. First recorded by Bix Beiderbecke and The Wolverines in 1924, it was Carmichael's first composition and become a Dixieland standard. The Wolverines released the song as a...

"
Carmichael, Dick Voynow, Irving Mills
Irving Mills
Irving Mills was a jazz music publisher, also known by the name of "Joe Primrose."Mills was born to Jewish parents in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. He founded Mills Music with his brother Jack in 1919...

, Mitchell Parish
Mitchell Parish
Mitchell Parish was an American lyricist.-Early life:Parish was born Michael Hyman Pashelinsky to a Jewish family in Lithuania. His family emigrated to the United States, arriving on February 3, 1901 on the SS Dresden when he was less than a year old...

1925 "Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues
Washboard Blues is a 1926 popular song written by Hoagy Carmichael, Fred B. Callahan and Irving Mills. Paul Whiteman's orchestra recorded it in 1927, featuring piano and lead vocals by Carmichael.The song is an evocative washerwoman's lament...

"
Carmichael, Fred B. Callahan, Irving Mills
1929 "Stardust
Stardust (song)
"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...

"
Mitchell Parish
1930 "Georgia on My Mind
Georgia on My Mind
"Georgia on My Mind" is a song written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell . It is the official state song of the U.S. state of Georgia. Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy's sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or...

"
Stuart Gorrell
Stuart Gorrell
Stuart Graham Steven Gorrell is best known for writing the lyrics for the song Georgia on My Mind.Gorrell attended Indiana University; there he became friends with fellow student Hoagy Carmichael...

1930 "Rockin' Chair" Carmichael
1931 "Come Easy Go Easy Love" Sunny Clapp
1931 "(Up a) Lazy River
(Up a) Lazy River
" Lazy River" is a popular song by Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin, published in 1930. The song is considered a jazz and pop standard, and has been recorded by many artists.-Recorded versions:*Acker Bilk*Adam Faith...

"
Carmichael and Sidney Arodin
1932 "In the Still of the Night" Jo Trent
1933 "Lazybones" Carmichael and Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was an American lyricist, songwriter and singer. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others...

1933 "One Morning in May
One Morning in May (song)
"One Morning in May" is a 1933 jazz standard. The words were written by Mitchell Parish and the music by Hoagy Carmichael. Several versions have been recorded by a number of various artists.- Notable Recordings :* Hoagy Carmichael...

"
Mitchell Parish
1936 "Little Old Lady" Carmichael and Stanley Adams
Stanley Adams (singer)
Stanley Adams was an American lyricist and songwriter. He wrote the English lyrics for the song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" and the English lyrics for "La Cucaracha"...

1936 "Lyin' to Myself" Stanley Adams
1936 "Moonburn" Edward Heyman
Edward Heyman
Edward Heyman was an American musician and lyricist, best known for his compositions "Body and Soul", "When I Fall in Love", and "For Sentimental Reasons". He also contributed many songs for films.-Biography:...

1937 "The Nearness of You
The Nearness of You
"The Nearness of You" is a popular song, written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington.The biggest selling 1938 version was recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with a vocal by Ray Eberle...

"
Ned Washington
Ned Washington
Ned Washington was an American lyricist.-Biography:Washington was nominated for eleven Academy Awards from 1940 to 1962...

1938 "Heart and Soul" Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
Frank Henry Loesser was an American songwriter who wrote the lyrics and scores to the Broadway hits Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. He won separate Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows, as well as sharing the Pulitzer Prize for...

1938 "Small Fry" Frank Loesser
1938 "Two Sleepy People
Two Sleepy People
"Two Sleepy People" is a song written on September 10, 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser.As well as being recorded by Carmichael himself, the song has been performed and recorded by a number of artists including Al Bowlly, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Art Garfunkel, Fats Waller,...

"
Frank Loesser
1938 "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
"I Get Along Without You Very Well" is a popular song composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1939, with lyrics based on a poem written by Jane Brown Thompson...

"
Jane Brown Thompson
1939 "Hong Kong Blues" Carmichael
1940 "Can't get Indiana Off My Mind" Robert DeLeon
1940 "I Walk With Music" Johnny Mercer
1940 "Way Back in 1939 A.D." Johnny Mercer
1941 "Skylark
Skylark (song)
"Skylark" is an American popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1941. Mercer said that he struggled for a year after he got the music from Carmichael before he could get the lyrics right....

"
Johnny Mercer
1942 "Baltimore Oriole" Paul Francis Webster
Paul Francis Webster
Paul Francis Webster was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award.-Biography:...

1942 "The Lamplighter's Serenade" Paul Francis Webster
1943 "Old Music Master" Johnny Mercer
1945 "Billy-a-Dick" Paul Francis Webster
1945 "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief
"Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" is a popular song published in 1945, with music written by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The biggest-selling version of the song was recorded by Betty Hutton on June 29, 1945. The recording was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 220...

"
Paul Francis Webster
1945 "Memphis in June" Paul Francis Webster
1946 "Ole Buttermilk Sky" Carmichael and Jack Brooks
Jack Brooks (lyricist)
Jack Brooks was an English-American lyricist.Brooks was born in Liverpool, England. He wrote a large number of lyrics of popular songs, including "Ole Buttermilk Sky" "That's Amore" and " Wagon Train" the second theme used on the television program, Wagon...

1950 "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening
"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" is a popular song with music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was written for the 1951 film, Here Comes the Groom, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song....

"
Johnny Mercer
1951 "My Resistance Is Low" Harold Adamson
Harold Adamson
For the Toronto Police Chief see Harold Adamson Harold Adamson was an American lyricist during the 1930s and 1940s.- Biography :...

1952 "Watermelon Weather" Paul Francis Webster
1953 "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?" Harold Adamson
1953 "When Love Goes Wrong (Nothin' Goes Right)" Harold Adamson

Biographies

Carmichael wrote two autobiographies: The Stardust Road (1946) and Sometimes I Wonder (1965). These were combined into a single volume for a paperback published by Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press, is an American publishing company with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1964 as a publisher of music books, as a division of Plenum Publishers. it had additional offices in offices in New York City, Philadelphia and Emeryville, California...

 in 1999. Dick Sudhalter
Dick Sudhalter
Richard "Dick" Sudhalter was an American jazz trumpeter, scholar, critic, and album annotator.-Biography:...

 wrote the first full biography of Carmichael, Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael.

In popular culture

  • Author Ian Fleming
    Ian Fleming
    Ian Lancaster Fleming was a British author, journalist and Naval Intelligence Officer.Fleming is best known for creating the fictional British spy James Bond and for a series of twelve novels and nine short stories about the character, one of the biggest-selling series of fictional books of...

     wrote in his novels Casino Royale
    Casino Royale (novel)
    Casino Royale is Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel. It paved the way for a further eleven novels by Fleming himself, in addition to two short story collections, followed by many "continuation" Bond novels by other authors....

    and Moonraker that British secret agent James Bond
    James Bond
    James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

     resembled a dashing and handsomer version of Carmichael, but with a scar down one cheek. In the book Casino Royale, James Bond compares himself unfavorably with Carmichael.
  • Former Beatles
    The Beatles
    The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

     singer and songwriter John Lennon
    John Lennon
    John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

     announced that Hoagy Carmichael was his favourite songwriter. George Harrison
    George Harrison
    George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

     was also an avid fan, having covered "Baltimore Oriole" and "Hong Kong Blues" in 1981. In addition, Harrison spoke of enjoying listening to "Barnacle Bill the Sailor."

See also

  • Martha Carmichael Clayton

External links

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