Doug Crane dcrane at comcast.net
Sun Apr 6 03:00:27 EDT 2008

Here's a couple of links to stories that aired on 
NPR regarding Stardust.  Susan Stamberg's story 
includes a few interview clips with Richard 
Sudhalter regarding the origins of the 
tune.  About the lyrics Sudhalter says that 
Irving Mills was the driving force in adding a 
set.  Given Mills' propensity for adding his name 
as a songwriter to pre-Blanton/Webster era 
Ellington Orchestra tunes, I'm amazed that he 
didn't list himself in this case.  Mills Music 
was, however, the publisher.  Mills and his Hotsy 
Totsy Gang recorded Stardust in September 1929 too.

The Stamberg piece also includes some audio clips 
from Hoagy himself.  In one clip he talks about 
how close he came to forgetting the tune before setting it to paper.

What made me search the NPR site for Stardust 
info is that I remembered hearing the Scott Simon 
interview listed below when it originally 
aired.  (I don't remember it being so long 
ago!)  Unfortunately NPR hasn't correctly 
archived the 5/15/1999 airing of Weekend Edition 
Saturday.  While the link functions it doesn't access the proper story.


All Things Considered, December 11, 2000 · Susan 
Stamberg has the story of Stardust, written by 
Hoagy Carmichael in 1927. It's part of the NPR 
100 - our list of the 100 most important American 
musical works of the last century. Carmichael's 
melody for Stardust started off as an up-tempo 
dance tune. It's been likened to a horn solo, and 
many jazz musicians love to play it because its 
roots are in jazz. But later, lyrics were added, 
and it was slowed to a ballad. By the end of the 
1930s, Stardust was an American classic. It's 
been recorded more than two thousand times. 
Carmichael loved the tune, and recorded several 
versions himself. The melody came to him one 
night while in school at Indiana University.


Weekend Edition Saturday, May 15, 1999 · Earl 
Butler collected over 1800 versions of Hoagy 
Carmichael's song "Stardust." Scott talks with 
his widow, Betty Butler, who donated the 
collection to an archive at Indiana University.

Doug Crane
dcrane at comcast.net
KUVO Denver 89.3 FM
Wednesdays 7-9 PM MDT 

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