Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981)
(2007 INDUCTEE) IN 1925 NATIVE HOOSIER HOAGY CARMICHAEL MADE HIS FIRST RECORDINGS IN RICHMOND FOR THE GENNETT LABEL AND FIRST RECORDED HIS FAMOUS SONG “STARDUST” FOR GENNETT IN 1927
DONATED IN MEMORY OF HARRY GENNETT, THIRD PRESIDENT OF STARR PAINO, INC., BY HIS FAMILY
Hoagland Carmichael grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. Hoagy’s mother, a pianist who played ragtime and dance music at college parties and who accompanied silent films, greatly influenced his piano playing and musical development. Hoagy began his jazz career while studying law at Indiana University. He began booking bands for college dances, starting his own band (Carmichael’s Collegians), and as a result, met and befriended jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, who suggested that Hoagy write jazz compositions. He followed Bix’s advice and wrote the song “Free Wheeling” for Bix and his band, the Wolverines, who recorded it as “Riverboat Shuffle”, at Richmond’s Gennett studio in 1924. One year later, Hoagy made his first recordings in Richmond, featuring two of his original compositions, while sitting in with Hitch’s Happy Harmonists, a regional dance band from Evansville, Indiana. In 1927, Hoagy again ventured to Richmond to record an original composition titled “Stardust,” which has since become one of the most popular songs from America’s musical past. Hoagy made his final recordings for Gennett in 1928 with Carmichael’s Collegians, but his lengthy career had only just begun. Hoagy continued to write many hit songs (“Georgia on My Mind,” “Rockin’ Chair,” “Skylark,” and “Lazy River” are among his most popular), starred in several films, and became a radio star, with a syndicated series broadcast on three networks.
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