Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Hoagy Carmichael

Heart and Soul

First recorded by Larry Clinton & His Orchestra with Bea Wain (US #1 February 1938).
Other hit versions by Eddy Duchin (US #12 1939), Al Donahue & His Orchestra (US #16 1939), The Four Aces (US #11 1952), Jan & Dean (US #25 1961), The Cleftones (US #18 1961).

From the wiki: “‘Heart and Soul’ was written by Hoagy Carmichael (‘Stardust‘, ‘Georgia on My Mind‘) with lyrics by Frank Loesser and first recorded in 1938 by Larry Clinton & His Orchestra featuring Bea Wain. In 1939, three versions charted: Larry Clinton (reaching #1 on the chart), Eddy Duchin (reaching #12), and Al Donahue (reaching #16). The Four Aces covered and charted ‘Heart and Soul’ in 1952; two different cover versions charted in 1961, with Jan & Dean reaching #25 and The Cleftones reaching #18. The Cleftones’ recording became more widely and popularly known after it was used in the 1972 movie American Graffiti, and was included on the soundtrack album.

Stardust

Co-written and first recorded (as an instrumental) by Hoagy Carmichael (1927).
Hit versions by Irving Mills & His Hotsy Totsy Gang (US #20 1929), Isham Jones & His Orchestra (US #1 1930), Bing Crosby (US #5 1931), Louis Armstrong (US #16 1931), Frank Sinatra with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (US #7 1941), Nat “King” Cole (US #79/UK #24 1957), The Dominoes (US #12/R&B #5/UK #13 1957), Nino Tempo & April Stevens (US #32 1964).
Also recorded by Jon Hendricks (1990).

From the JazzStandards.com: “On October 31, 1927, Hoagy Carmichael and His Pals recorded ‘Stardust’ at the Gennett Records studio in Richmond, Indiana. Hoagy’s ‘pals,’ Emil Seidel and His Orchestra, agreed to record the medium-tempo instrumental in between their Sunday evening and Monday matinee performances in Indianapolis, seventy miles away. In 1928 Carmichael again recorded ‘Stardust,’ this time with lyrics he had written, but Gennett rejected it because the instrumental had sold so poorly. The following year, at Mills Music, Mitchell Parish was asked to set lyrics to coworker Carmichael’s song. The result was the 1929 publication date of ‘Star Dust’ with the music and lyrics we know today.

“According to the Carmichael, inspiration for the song struck while visiting his old university campus. Sitting on a wall reminiscing about the town, his college days, and past romances, he looked up at the starlit sky and whistled ‘Star Dust’. Richard Sudhalter’s biography ( Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael) contends that the melody may have begun with fragments, evolving over months and maybe years, but Carmichael preferred to perpetuate a myth that sweet songs are conceived in romantic settings.

Georgia on My Mind

Co-written and first recorded by Hoagy Carmichael & His Orchestra (1930).
Hit versions by Frankie Trumbauer (1931), Ray Charles (US #1/R&B #3/UK #24 1960).
Also recorded by The Band (1977).

From the wiki: “Written in 1930 by Hoagy Carmichael (music) and Stuart Gorrell (lyrics). 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 to a woman named ‘Georgia’.

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