Today's date



Hoagy Carmichael & Mitchell Parish




I barely know where to begin with this one. We are all made of stardust and maybe that is why this song resonates with me so much. In truth, I don't really know. I must have been 7 or 8 when I first heard it. My parents were playing a Glenn Miller album and it was all pleasant enough but then this song was played and it changed everything. It was my first experience of the power music has to manipulate your feelings. I'm no musicologist so I can't explain why this song affected me so deeply but to this day it remains one of my favourite songs ever. Hearing Katie perform it live in 2019 was one of the most magical 4 minutes of my life.

As with all diamonds, it took a lot of polishing to produce the end product. Hoagy Carmichael worked for months to refine a tune that had popped into his head and he was whistling one day in 1927. Initially, a jollier number performed at a higher tempo, Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1929 and the song was slowed down into a sentimental ballad. The rest is history. It has been recorded by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and even Bob Dylan. Willie Nelson's version woke up the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-97. In fact, there have been over 1500 recordings of the song. I don't know how many I've heard—quite a few—but this version by Katie is my favourite and for me it is definitive. I simply can't conceive of it being done better; it is perfection and it made my mind up that she is the best interpreter of a song I have ever heard. A song is more than just words and notes, it is about painting pictures in the mind. That is why we refer to singers as artists.


If you are reluctant to take my word for it then have a look for yourself. There are a couple of performances on YouTube. Here's a cracker from 2016... Stardust (live in Lucern).