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Meet Hoagy Carmichael

In IDS on November 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

The piano-playing statue has a story…

MJ SLABY (IDS)

The spooning wall, a low limestone wall near the law school, was a favorite meeting spot for lovers.

But as Hoagy Carmichael sat there, he realized just how alone he was.

In 1927, at 28, he had returned to his college campus and his hometown of Bloomington. All his friends were graduated and gone. The girl he loved was gone too. And the campus lacked the vibrancy it seemed to have during his college days.

But then, as legend has it, he decided to stop feeling sorry for himself and started with a tune. A melody popped into the songwriter’s head, and it was so compelling that he ran to his favorite hang out, the Book Nook.

It was closed, but he pounded on the door anyway, and the owner let him in.

Inside, he rushed to the piano to compose what would later, once its tempo was slowed down to a ballad, become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.

“Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely nights dreaming of a song.”

The song was “Stardust.”

Lesson: Death is not an excuse for sloppy storytelling.

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