Remembering Hoagy Carmichael

We lost Hoagy Carmichael on this date in 1981. We have not lost “Skylark.” Here’s Carmichael in 1956 singing one of his most beloved songs. The words are by Johnny Mercer, the alto saxophone solo is by Art Pepper, the trumpet by Don Fagerquist.

The song is from Hoagy Sings Carmichael With the Pacific Jazzmen, his classic album with arrangements by Johnny Mandel—a basic repertoire item.

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  1. Carlita Kaunda says

    That Hoagy album is among my favorites by that one-of-a-kind talent. A basic repertoire item indeed.

    He was a powerhouse, writer, performer – and a damn fine actor too.


    • John Birchard says

      From Hoagy Sings Carmichael, I’ve always enjoyed “Baltimore Oriole”. Hoagy’s singing on that album prepared me to hear and appreciate other “non-standard” voices like those of Johnny Mercer, Mose Allison, Ray Charles and Doctor John. Today’s critics often talk/write about an artist’s “authenticity”. Hard to get more authentic than Mr. Carmichael. And, while I’m on the subject, the arrangements by Mandel ain’t bad, either.

  2. says

    What a delight. Not only for his singing, that is always “it”, but that arrangement by Mandel and the West Coast men backing it all. Wonderful and thank you, plus a Happy New Year to you, yours, your followers.

    Brian Hope

  3. Jim Brown says

    in “Stardust Melody,” the late trumpeter and scholar Dick Sudhalter has left us a sensitive, insightful, well informed, and well written biography of Hoagy. Highly recommended.