From time to time William Price King will feature some iconic Jazz songs that have been part of the repertoire of the music greats of the past century. Over to William.
Today’s song is ‘Stardust’ which originally started out as ‘Star Dust’ but became contracted as it passed through many hands in the music industry. The song, played in an idiosyncratic melody in medium tempo, became an American Standard is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, with over 1,500 total recordings.
It was composed by the incredible Hoagy Carmichael in the mid 1920’s when he was studying at Indiana University and over the course of several months he refined the melody. It was first recorded as a Jazz instrumental in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael accompanied by the Emil Seidel Orchestra and the Dorsey Brothers. This version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995.
In collaboration with Mitchel Parrish, the lyrics were written for the song in 1929 and it really took off as a sentimental ballad in 1930 when it was recorded by band leader Isham Jones.
Following that first recording many major artists released versions including Bing Crosby in 1931, Nat King Cole’s whose cover is considered to be one of the best in 1956, and a ‘live’ version by Mel Tormé, with George Shearing in 1989. This does not take into account the many big bands that also recorded versions of ‘Stardust’ in the intervening years.
Over the last 90 years ‘Stardust’ has received many accolades including in 1999 being included in the “NPR 100,” a list compiled by National Public Radio of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century. In 2000, Swedish music reviewers voted it as “the tune of the century and in 2004, Carmichael’s original 1927 recording of the song, was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.
Personally, when I first heard this song, sung by Mel Tormé, it knocked me off my feet. The lyrics are so beautiful and the melody so haunting that it gave me emotions that no other song has rarely done. Here is my recently recorded version with the incredible guitarist Gabriel Anfosso
William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.
William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.
William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
Find out more about William and his music at these two links.
Album cover – Amazon.com
This Saturday Part Two of the Mel Tormé story and here is a link to part one.