Thursday, November 22, 2012

November 22: Hoagy Carmichael

On this date in History ..... 1899:

Hoagy Carmichael is born in Bloomington, IND.  He studied to be a lawyer at Indiana University but gave up his law practice to become a songwriter.  
He was one of the first singer-songwriters, paving the way for folks like Bob Dylan and Billy Joel.  At that point in time, songwriters were a group separate from singers and Carmichael, with his self described “flatsy through the nose” down home with a Hoosier accent voice, gave him appeal as just a regular guy from Wall Street to the farm fields. His style of wearing his hat on the back of his head, with a cigarette dangling from his lips was recognized as pure “Hoagy” and he didn’t straighten his style even when he played at the London Palladium .
He grew up surrounded by music.  His mother made extra money playing piano at the local movie theater and at university dances.

He recorded a number of songs at Gannett Studios in Richmond, IND, including the first version of “Stardust” in 1927 which didn’t do well until it was recorded by bandleader Isham Jones in 1930. 

He holds the record for the longest song title: "I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doing Those Beat-o, Beat-o, Flat on my Seat-o Hirohito Blues".

He actually wrote (click here to hear) this song  for an episode of “The Flintstones”. He died in California and was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery, Bloomington IND.   

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