- Album This song officially appears on the Sentimental Journey Official album.
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“Stardust” is an American popular song composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish. Carmichael first recorded the song, originally titled “Star Dust“, 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 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.
According to Carmichael, the inspiration for “Stardust” (the song’s original title was “Star Dust“, which has long been compounded into “Stardust”) came to him while he was on the campus of his alma mater, Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. He began whistling the tune then rushed to the Book Nook, a popular student hangout, and started composing. He worked to refine the melody over the course of the next several months, likely in Bloomington or Indianapolis (sources cite various locations, and Carmichael himself liked to embellish the facts about the song’s origins). “Stardust” was 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. (The Redman arrangement was issued on OKeh as by The Chocolate Dandies, but was in reality the moonlighting McKinney’s Cotton Pickers who were exclusive Victor recording artists.)
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. “Stardust” represents the rare case of a song in AABA form lacking a refrain. The title appears seemingly incidentally, not as a memorable hook. In the final A-section, the usual place of the refrain is filled by the word ‘refrain’ (“…the memory of love’s refrain”). […]
Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.