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Stardust Road

Description of the video:

MICHAEL: It's wild being where it all began, you know, where all of this music was created.

TITLES: In summer 2018, the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial and Department of Theatre and Drama brought and IU alum’s iconic music back to Bloomington.

STUDENTS: (singing)

TITLES: The Making of “Stardust Road: A Hoagy Carmichael Musical Journey”

MICHAEL: The students have been great, they really have. We have always wanted to do the show with young people, young people

interpreting old music. We all know that Sarah Vonn can sing The Nearness of You, Ella Fitzgerald can sing The Nearness of You. It's a whole different ball of wax to see a 20 year old singing The Nearness of You.

SUSAN: Well, we were just putting the songs together because this catalog is enormous and when they first called me, when Hoagy Carmichael's son called me, about doing this, I didn't know half the songs he had written. I knew the obvious ones and then when I said “Well, let me look into the catalog and see if I think I can put together a theatrical," because they wanted it to be theatrical, put together a theatrical show and I was

awestruck by the catalog I went, "Oh my goodness", and of course, he wrote with the best lyricist, so the songs don't only have these wonderful timeless melodies, but they have timeless lyrics as well.

MICHAEL: Susan went, "Why don't you check out the library of Hoagy Carmichael's music?" I mean, we all know The Nearness of You and Georgia on My Mind and Skylark but there was a whole  catalogue of music that I didn't know and I think a lot of people don't know. Went online and I actually went to the university, here, to the archives and checked out different songs and tried to get names and titles and then go to Spotify or YouTube or whatever to try and find out what they sounded like. So we found a bunch of unknown, to me anyway, and to I think a lot of people, incredible music that we decided to put into this piece.

SUSAN: It's wonderful to mix the well-known tunes with the not well-known tunes and I think the song that interestingly gets the biggest response is when they start Heart and Soul because nobody thinks that that song was ever written by anybody, you know, and when she starts it they you can hear the audible sort of sound in the audience is the laughter that "Oh, no

he wrote that too?"

"Yes, he wrote that too."

TITLES: The musical takes its name from Carmichael’s 1927 breakout song “Stardust,” which Carmichael wrote during his time at IU Bloomington.

LARRY: It was only instrumental initially and a few years later, it was sort of languished in a publishing house. They had the rights to the song but there was a band at the time the Isham Jones Band took the song, slowed it down, recorded it, and suddenly, you know, which can never explain why these things happened it became a mega-hit. It's not like most popular songs of the era for its complexity.

SUSAN: Wonderful thing about Hoagy Carmichael's music is that it's classical so though it might have been in a certain period that he wrote it and has a feel of a certain period

the emotion of it is everlasting.

HOAGY: In the 1960s, early 60s, rock and roll came in in a big way and my father's kind of music was not en vogue. He had a very tough time getting music publishers and people to sing his music. The money wasn't there.

LARRY: Hoagy, you know, should be celebrated as a wonderful writer people should not forget him. 

SUSAN: When a melody is a good melody, it transports you

to an emotional place. Today even in the world of rock and roll and you know, everything else that has happened, people still sing those tunes.

HOAGY: He brought me into this world. His stuff is important, if I may say, and yeah, it's up to me, the oldest, to do what I can.

SUSAN: This show has come home because this is where it all began and the fact that IU houses the archives, the Hoagy Carmichael archives, also make it very special to be doing it here. And the statue's right outside.

TITLES: In addition to “Stardust Road,” Hoagy Carmichael’s legacy lives on in his bronze stature on IU Bloomington’s campus.

HOAGY: The first time I saw the statue I didn't want to see the statue.  It was too close to home for me. I gave a statue a pat yesterday and the day before and I went over and said 'hello' this morning or this afternoon and so it's great. It's great. I just wish dad could have seen it. And the many other things that have happened in his life. We have wonderful facilities here in IU wonderful, so it's a great experience for us. And brings dad back again.

NARRATOR: Indiana University Bicentennial