Stardust Melody (Remastered)
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Stardust Melody, RCA's first document of Hoagy Carmichael's rich, folksy songwriting and gentle vocal artistry in over ten years, does near-perfect work of balancing great performances by Carmichael the endearing vocalist with several outside versions familiar to those who know his pop songbook. First, it leads off with an expressive solo performance of "Star Dust" from 1933, then collects a pair of early (and unreleased) Carmichael performances ("Rockin' Chair," "March of the Hoodlums"). Bix Beiderbecke, an early friend (and the inspiration for "Star Dust"), appears with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra on one of his earliest compositions, "Washboard Blues." Other guests include Mildred Bailey singing "Rockin' Chair" (a song more associated with her than with Carmichael) and "Georgia on My Mind," Earl Hines & His Orchestra polishing "Skylark" with a refined reading from Billy Eckstine, Ethel Waters on "Old Man Harlem," and close to the top, Hot Lips Page on an ebullient version of "Small Fry" from 1938. Compiler Dick Sudhalter — author of the Carmichael biography and recorder of an album tribute — did an authoritative job bringing the diverse talents of an individual jazz voice (both vocal and compositional) to the fore in this excellent compilation.
Born: 22 November 1899 in Bloomington, IN
Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s