Monday, July 21, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Hoagy Carmichael
Song:Georgia On My Mind
Album:Hoagy Sings Carmichael
Howard Hoagland Carmichael is one of the great composers of the 20th century but he was also a popular performer. This album from the 50s has him in a jazz setting. He was born Nov. 11, 1899 in Bloomington, IN. Carmichael started playing piano as a child but was planning to be a lawyer. He earned a law degree at the University Of Illinois. But he got the music bug when he befriended trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke in college. He went to Miami to join a law firm but when he failed the bar exam, he returned to Indiana and started writing music. He sang his song Washboard Blues in Paul Whiteman's band and songs such as Stardust started getting him more attention. Georgia On My Mind was written in 1930. Many artists have recorded it but it was never a big hit until Ray Charles recorded it in 1960. It is now the official state song of Georgia. In the mid 30s, Carmichael started singing at parties and his laconic vocal style eventually got the attention of film studios and he started turning up in films like The Best Years Of Our Lives. His popularity continued on TV in the 50s. Carmichael recorded some pop records in the 40s but he could see that Rock 'N' Roll was not good for him. So he recorded Hoagy Sings Carmichael for Pacific Jazz in 1956 with arrangements by Johnny Mandel and featuring Jimmy Rowles on piano, Art Pepper on sax and Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet. It's worth checking out. Hoagy Carmichael still tried to write songs but even with the success of Georgia On My Mind, his kind of songs weren't in vogue anymore. But he got a big lift when John Lennon said Hoagy Carmichael was his favourite songwriter. Hoagy Carmichael died on Dec. 27, 1981 at age 82. He is in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Here's Hoagy Carmichael performing in the 1941 short film Lazybones along with a very young Dorothy Dandridge.