IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Hoagy Carmichael Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy CarmichaelHoagy Carmichael

Location: In front of The Gables (formerly Book Nook), 114 South Indiana Avenue, Bloomington. (Monroe County, Indiana)

Installed: 2007 Indiana Historical Bureau and City of Bloomington

ID# : 53.2007.2

Text

Side one:

Born and reared in Bloomington, he is considered one of the most important American songwriters of the twentieth century. Began attending Indiana University 1920; graduated with a law degree 1926. Tried law as career, but returned to music. Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame 1971. Died on December 27, 1981 in California; buried in Bloomington.

Side two:

Hoagy wrote that he composed "Stardust" in part on the piano of the Book Nook located here. Among his other popular songs were "Heart and Soul, " "Georgia on My Mind, " "Lazybones, " and "Ole Buttermilk Sky, " which was nominated for an Academy Award 1946. Won an Academy Award 1951 for "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" from Here Comes the Groom.

Keywords

Arts and Culture

Annotated Text

Side 1

Born and reared in Bloomington, (1) he is considered one of the most important American songwriters of the twentieth century. (2) Began attending Indiana University 1920; graduated with a law degree 1926. (3) Tried law as career, but returned to music. (4) Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame 1971. (5) Died on December 27, 1981 in California; buried in Bloomington. (6)

Side 2

Hoagy wrote that he composed "Stardust" in part on the piano of the Book Nook located here. (7) Among his other popular songs were "Heart and Soul, " "Georgia on My Mind, " "Lazybones, " and "Ole Buttermilk Sky, " which was nominated for an Academy Award 1946. (8) Won an Academy Award 1951 for "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" from Here Comes the Groom. (9)

Notes:

(1) Hoagland Howard Carmichael was born on November 22, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana to Howard Clyde and Lida Mary Carmichael. Hoagy Carmichael and Stephen Longstreet, Sometimes I Wonder (New York, 1965), 3 (B050637); California Death Index, 1940-1997 Record, www.AncestryLibrary.com (accessed on August 9, 2006) (B050890); United States Passport, Hoagland Howard Carmichael, Issued May 30, 1975 (B050990); U.S. Bureau of the Census, Twelfth Census (1900), Schedule 1, Population, Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana, 98 (B050991).

(2) While living in Indianapolis, Hoagy met black pianist Reggie DuValle, who, Hoagy would later recall, helped him gain his first conception of harmony and jazz. "Timeline of Hoagy Carmichael's Life, " (B050649); Hoagy Carmichael, The Stardust Road (New York, 1946), p. 16, 19 (B050019).

Carmichael is credited as "one of the most inventive and adventurous of the great American songwriters, " [Songwriters Hall of Fame Web site. (B050886)] and having offered "unique contributions within the context of twentieth-century popular American music history." "Introduction: The Hoagy Carmichael Collection, " from Digital Star Dust: The Hoagy Carmichael Collection at Indiana University, http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue5_6/brancolini/ (accessed August 9, 2006) (B050649).

(3) Hoagland Howard Carmichael, Permanent Record, Indiana University (B050989).

(4) Richard Sudhalter, Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael (New York, 2002), 97-99 (B050641); "Timeline of Hoagy Carmichael's Life" (B050649); Carmichael, The Stardust Road, 104, 112, 115-17 (B050019).

(5) Songwriters Hall of Fame Web site (B050886).

(6) "Composer of Stardust, ' Hoagy Carmichael, dies, " Chicago Tribune, December 28, 1981, p. A3 (B050986); "Hoagy Carmichael Dies; Rose to Fame on Stardust', " Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1981, p. OC1 (B050987); "Hoagy Carmichael's Rites Slated in Indiana, " Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1981, p. B21 (B050988); California Death Index (B050890); "Indiana's Popular History: Hoagy Carmichael, " Indiana Historical Society Web site, http://www.indianahistory.org/pop_hist/people/hoagy.html (accessed August 9, 2006) (B050647).

(7) Carmichael, The Stardust Road, 123-24 (B050019); Carmichael and Longstreet, Sometimes I Wonder, 183-84 (B050637).

In Carmichael and Longstreet, Sometimes I Wonder, 183-84, Hoagy recalls, "I sat down on the spooning wall at the edge of campus, and all the things that the town and the University and the friends meant flooded through my mind. I sat on the lovers' wall alone, looked up at the sky, and whistled a tune that became Stardust. I ran to the Nook, fearful of spilling the tune. 'Got to use your piano, Pete.' Sure. But.' Very important.' Gotta close up. But I give you a few minutes.' The notes sounded good and I played till I was tossed out, protesting, still groping for the full content of my music" (B050637).

The 'Nook' Hoagy referred to was the Book Nook, located on Indiana Avenue, and 'Pete' was Pete Costas, the proprietor of the Book Nook. Carmichael, The Stardust Road, 34-35 (B050019).

(8) Sudhalter, Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael, 136-39, 153-57, 256-58 (B050641); "Hoagy Carmichael, " Songwriters Hall of Fame Web site, http://songwritershalloffame.org/exhibit_home_page.asp?exhibitId=57 (accessed September 19, 2006) (B050886).

"Awards Database, " Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Web site, http://www.oscars.org/ (accessed September 19, 2006) (B050887).

Hoagy also composed "Moonburn, " which was included in the Warner Brothers Pictures' film Anything Goes. Sudhalter, Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael, 177 (B050641); "Moonburn" was "the first Carmichael song to be used in a Hollywood movie." Ibid.

According to a Web site, in 1934, a young up-and-coming actress named Frances Gumm (more commonly known as Judy Garland) changed her first name to Judy, after Hoagy Carmichael's song "Judy." "About Judy Garland, " The Judy Room Web site, http://www.thejudyroom.com/aboutjudy.html (accessed September 19, 2006) (B050885); "Timeline of Hoagy Carmichael's Life" (B050649).

(9) "Awards Database, " Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Web site, http://www.oscars.org/ (accessed September 19, 2006) (B050887).