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Hoagy Carmichael

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“Hoagy” Carmichael (born Howard Hoagland Carmichael; November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for composing the music for “Stardust”, “Georgia on My Mind”, “The Nearness of You”, and “Heart and Soul”, four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.
American composer and author Alec Wilder wrote of Carmichael in American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900–1950 that he was the “most talented, inventive, sophisticated and jazz-oriented” of the hundreds of writers composing pop songs in the first half of the 20th century.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Carmichael was the only son of Howard Clyde Carmichael, of Scottish ancestry, and Lida Mary (Robison). He was named Hoagland after a circus troupe “The Hoaglands” who stayed at the Carmichael house during his mother’s pregnancy. Howard was a horse-drawn taxi driver and electrician, and Lida a versatile pianist who played accompaniment at silent movies and for parties. The family moved frequently, as Howard sought better employment for his growing family. At six, Carmichael started to sing and play the piano, easily absorbing his mother’s keyboard skills. He never had formal piano lessons. By high school, the piano was the focus of his after-school life, and for inspiration he would listen to ragtime pianists Hank Wells and Hube Hanna. At eighteen, the small, wiry, pale Carmichael was living in Indianapolis, trying to help his family’s income working in manual jobs in construction, a bicycle chain factory, and a slaughterhouse.

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  • DavidSmith98

    not the greatest interrupter of his own songs. his singing is good enough, but they sound like demos for the more famous versions. in other words a better writer than singer, but one of the greatest writers of popular song!

    16 May 2013 Reply
  • _duif

    again with the extremist anti-tobacco crusade? I don't smoke myself and dislike smoking in general, but this is just ridiculous.

    22 Sep 2011 Reply
  • rnrnrnaa

    two sleepy people :')

    19 Aug 2011 Reply
  • MorganHillMusic

    A true hero. One of the souls that touches mine. One of the reasons I am an artist.

    26 Mar 2011 Reply
  • johntardsbaby66

    "One of the great composers of the American popular song, Hoagy Carmichael differed from most of the others (with the obvious exception of Duke Ellington) in that he was also a fine performer." George Gershwin anyone?

    23 Jan 2011 Reply
  • lulugou

    had singer-songwriter been fashionable back then, he would have been much more famous than Sinatra.

    2 Dec 2010 Reply
  • johntardsbaby66

    He is totally fuckable.

    11 Jul 2010 Reply
  • noiresque

    Love him! I have had a thing for him since seeing TO HAVE OR HAVE NOT a a young teen :D

    22 Oct 2009 Reply
  • chinneths

    stardust!

    18 Oct 2009 Reply
  • imuzico

    awesome music...love it!

    30 Apr 2009 Reply
  • philmfan

    Almost the archetypal Tin Pan Alley-style composer but so much more. One of the original singer-songwriters, highly influential.

    19 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Andrescsouza

    this guy was really great, too bad there isn't nobody like him out there anymore

    3 Nov 2007 Reply
  • montecore

    Hoagy owned

    12 Sep 2006 Reply

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