(Note how the song’s title, like “base ball,” was originally two words.)
Over at his website, the Canadian journalist and commentator Mark Steyn is well into a year-long twice-weekly series of articles on songs associated with Frank Sinatra, whose centennial falls this December. Even if you don’t care for Steyn’s political opinions, which he delivers with some of the sharpest elbows in the business, I highly recommend his writing on the great American popular song, a subject on which he seems practically omniscient.
Anyhow, today’s article is about the 1927 Hoagy Carmichael instrumental that, fitted a few years later with romantic lyrics by Mitchell Parrish, became the most recorded popular song of all time — the standard of standards. I did a whole hour of interpretations of the song many years ago on WFCR, and it remains my favorite among all my radio shows. While I can’t recreate it here — not everything I played is available on Spotify — I can certainly come up with a baker’s dozen great renditions, including three by the songs’s composer, as well as ten others by some of the greatest singers and jazz instrumentalists in American music.
So, as the snow falls outside, which I’ve always felt added an extra magic to great music, take a break and enjoy as “They All Play ‘Stardust.'”