Significant Songs (76)


Even when I was very young, I always loved this song. Written and performed by Hoagy Carmichael, as long ago as 1927, his relaxed vocals (and great lyrics from Mitchell Parish) drew me in to the world of this accomplished crooner. I listened to this, and many of his other famous songs, from the time that I knew how to operate a record player. He was a talented pianist and composer, who worked with many of the great names during the 1920s and 1930s, including Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Paul Whiteman, and Benny Goodman.

His list of compositions might surprise you, as they include many songs made famous by other artists, that became standards. These include ‘Georgia’, ‘Rockin’ Chair’, ‘Up A Lazy River’, and ‘Memphis In June’, among others. He also acted in films and on television, with roles in many famous productions, notably ‘To Have And Have Not’ (1944), and The Best Years Of Our Lives’ (1946). He died in California in 1981, leaving behind the legacy of so many marvellous songs. This version was recorded in 1942.


20 thoughts on “Significant Songs (76)

  1. This was my Dad’s favourite song. It was the Nat King Cole version he loved and we had it played at his funeral. I thought that after that It would be difficult to listen to it, but it is such a good song that it just gives me a warm glow every time I hear it. Good choice, Pete.


  2. Previous to your post I’d only heard the Willie Nelson version, it’s nice to catch up with the original.
    I once read that Ian Fleming said that the James Bond he imagined resembled Hoagy Carmichael, with a scar down his cheek.


    1. Thanks Paul, I had never heard that. Hoagy was a skinny little man, nothing like any Bond ever filmed. It might have made them more interesting though, at least to me!
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I enjoyed the music. I own the movie, “To Have and Have Not.” I noticed Hoagy Carmichael whistled in the song.
    Slim (Lauren Bacall): “You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve?” … This is a family blog, so I won’t quote the rest.


    1. Carmichael often whistles parts of his songs. This was common back then, and can be found on songs from Bing Crosby and others. Hoagy generally has parts in films that feature him as a musician of course, or someone that just ‘happens’ to play and sing.
      Glad you liked it David. Best wishes as always. Pete.


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