Album: Stardust, And Much More (1927)
Charted: 24 79
  • The composer/bandleader Hoagy Carmichael wrote this after giving up his law career in 1927 and first recorded it that year with his orchestra 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 two years later, Mitchell Parish added lyrics and Carmichael reworked the song as a slow ballad. The bandleader/saxophonist 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.
  • Originally published with a two-word title ("Star Dust"), this classic song incorporates a timeless theme: the solace of dreams when overwhelmed by heartbreak. If you can't be with your love, at least you can dream about her.
  • Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby both released renditions of this song in 1931. Once the Swing era took hold, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey all recorded the song. In 1940, Dorsey recorded a new version with the vocal group The Pied Pipers, which featured a young Frank Sinatra.

    Billy Ward and the Dominoes took the song to #12 US in 1957, and that same year Nat King Cole's version hit #79 US and #24 UK. Cole's version proved most enduring and was revived when it was featured in the 1993 movie Sleepless In Seattle. Other charting versions of the song in the US were recorded by Frank Sinatra as a solo artist (#98, 1962) and Nino Tempo & April Stevens (#32, 1964).

    In 1978, Willie Nelson released a Country version, using it as the title track to his album.
  • Stuart Gorrell, who wrote the lyrics for Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind," came up with the song title when the melody reminded him of "dust from stars drifting down through the summer sky."
  • 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.

    Paul McCartney is also a big fan: he said in his Club Sandwich newsletter that it is the song he most wished he had written. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jack C - Auckland, New Zealand
  • Ringo Starr's first post-Beatles album, Sentimental Journey, is a collection of standards that includes this song (arranged by Paul McCartney).
  • Willie Nelson calls this his favorite song and credits Booker T. Jones, his producer and arranger on the Stardust album, for showing him the right way to approach it.

    In his autobiography, Willie, he recalled the first night he performed it with his band at the Austin Opera House. "There was a kind of stunned silence in the crowd for a moment, and then they exploded with cheering and whistling and applauding. The kids in the crowd thought 'Stardust' was a new song I had written. The older folks remembered the song well and loved it as much as I did."

Comments: 10

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 1st 1957, Nat 'King' Cole appeared on the NBC-TV music variety special 'Five Stars* for Springtime'...
    At the time he had two records on Billboard's Top 100 chart; "Stardust" was at #79 and "When Rock and Roll Come to Trinidad" was at #92...
    "When Rock and Roll Come to Trinidad" would peak at #48, while #79 would be the peak position for his covered version of "Stardust"...
    * The four other 'Stars' that appeared on the special were Gordon McRae, Ricky Nelson, Andy Williams, and Patti Page.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 14th 1964, Nino Tempo & April Stevens performed "Stardust" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #34 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the following week it would peak at #32 {for 1 week} and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between July 1962 and July 1967 the brother & sister duo had eight Top 100 records; with one making the Top 10 and that one reached #1, "Deep Purple"* for 1 week in 1963...
    They just missed having a second Top 10 record when "Whispering" peaked at #11 in 1964...
    * When "Deep Purple" moved in to the #1 spot, it replaced "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs, which had been at #1 for five weeks.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 18th 1957, the CBS-TV network's 'The Big Record Show' had its national debut {it was the network's answer to ABC-TV's 'American Bandstand'}...
    The show's hostess was Patti Page and it lasted for one season with 35 episodes...
    Billy Ward and his Dominoes performed "Stardust" on the show; at the time the song was at #14 on Billboard's Top 100 chart and at #19 on Billboard's Best Sellers chart...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 11th 1957, "Stardust" by Billy Ward and his Dominoes entered Billboard's Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #12 and spent almost a half-year on the chart (24 weeks)...
    It reached #5 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart and #13 in the United Kingdom...
    The year before in 1956 the group peaked at #13 with "St. Therese of the Roses", with the great Jackie Wilson singing lead...
    R.I.P. Mr. Ward, born Robert L. Williams, 1921 - 2002 and Mr. Wilson, born Jack Leroy Wilson, Jr. 1934 - 1984.
  • Brian from Desmoines, IaAs 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.
  • Christopher from Desert Center, Ca"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" )
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaMost people, including Ringo, record the song without the first two introductory verses, which are sung to a different melody.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaI'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.
  • Dave from Dublin,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.
  • Frank from Valley Stream, NyI love this song sung by Billy Ward & His
    Dominoes, with Eugene Mumford singing lead.
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