Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Priestley, Brian. “The Stardust File.” Annual Review of Jazz Studies 10 (1999): 151-62.

Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust did not start out as a slow song, but instead an instrumental piece with a fast tempo. The song shares a number of unusual melodic fragments with Bix Beiderbecke’s interpretation of Singin’ the Blues and Louis Armstrong’s Dardanella. The three-note pickup to the chorus later associated with the words “Sometimes I...” is also found in the choruses to popular songs Poor Butterfly and Rose Room. Carmichael first recorded the piece in 1927. The band Mills’s Merry Makers, led by Irving Mills, recorded the first slow version less than a year later. Carmichael, however, credited the tempo change to Isham Jones’s later recording, on which Carmichael was the pianist. Carmichael wrote lyrics to Stardust even before it was recorded for the first time as an instrumental work, but Mitchell Parish, a staff writer for Mills, wrote the lyrics that Bing Crosby sang in the 1931 release of the first version with voice. Crosby and Louis Armstrong are among a handful of artists who have recorded multiple versions of Stardust, indicating its endurance as a jazz standard.

Works: Hoagy Carmichael: Stardust (151-53); Hoagy Carmichael: Stardust as performed by Mills’s Merry Makers (153-54), Isham Jones (154-55), Bing Crosby (156-57), Louis Armstrong (157-58), and Benny Goodman (159).

Sources: J. Russel Robinson, Con Conrad, Sam M. Lewis, and Joe Young (composers) and Bix Beiderbecke (performer): Singin’ the Blues (152); Felix Bernard, Johnny S. Black, and Fred Fisher (composers) and Louis Armstrong (performer): Dardanella (152); Raymond Hubbell: Poor Butterfly (152); Art Hickman: Rose Room (152).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz, Popular

Contributed by: Nathan Blustein

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License