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Nat King Cole

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Hoagy Carmichael wrote this after giving up his law career in 1927 and first recorded it that year with his band as a Jazz number. According to legend, Carmichael came up with the song when he went for a walk under the stars and started thinking about former girlfriends.
Carmichael's instrumental version did pretty well, and 2 years later, Mitchell Parish added lyrics and Carmichael reworked the song as a slow ballad. Bandleader Isham Jones recorded this new arrangement, which became the first of many hit records of the tune. The song became a Big Band standard, with just about every prominent bandleader and singer of the '30s and '40s performing it, making it one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.
Nat King Cole's version is the most well-known. It was revived when it was featured in the 1993 movie Sleepless In Seattle. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
Bette Midler considers this her favorite song, with the lyrics, "And now the purple dusk of twilight time steals across the meadows of my heart" her favorite words. (thanks, Jack C - Auckland, New Zealand)
Nat King Cole
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Comments (6):

As I've grown up (57), I've started to reject the music of my youth and prize old standards. Yes, music my parents would have liked. This is clearly the best rendition of the best song ever. Instrumentals, voice, etc. I love the first two verses and the song is damaged without them.
This song has even been in my dreams! Can't say that about any other song.
- brian, desmoines, IA
"Stardust" is the most often recorded piece of music written by an American composer, having been recorded by over 1,600 bands, orchestras, singers ... probably even zither-ists, I guess.
( Source: Smithsonian Institution [except for the comment about the "zither" )
- Christopher, Desert Center, CA
Most people, including Ringo, record the song without the first two introductory verses, which are sung to a different melody.
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
I'm gonna get laughed at, but I like Ringo Starr's take, on his first post-Beatles album, Sentimental Journey. It was basically my introduction to the song, so it has stuck with me. The entire album of old standards, earnestly recorded, is great! He went to his family members and asked them what their old favorites were.
- Guy, Woodinville, WA
The most beautiful treatment of this song I ever heard was by Stephane Grappelli/Django Reinhardt/Le Hot Club de France. It's upbeat but played very delicately, and the players pass the melody around. Not sure what year they recorded it, but I have it on an anthology album that covers late '30s to early '40s.
- dave, dublin,
I love this song sung by Billy Ward & His
Dominoes, with Eugene Mumford singing lead.
- Frank, Valley Stream, NY
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