Fabulous Friday: 12 songs pt 1, "Star Dust"
The best book I read last year was *Stardust Melodies: A Biography of 12 of America's Most Popular Songs* by Will Friedwald. The tells the story behind twelve great songs from the American Songbook and gives you a guided tour through various notable recordings. It's an extraordinary book, a delight to read, and a priceless resource. I'll use the next twelve Fridays (taking time off for Mystery Guests on the first Friday of the month) to highlight these twelve songs, posting at least two recordings of each.
The first song in the book is, naturally, "Star Dust," music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Mitchell Parish. The Nat King Cole recording is heavenly:
And I'm a HUGE Sarah Vaughan fan, I love how inventive and indulgent she is. I think it was in this book that I heard this description about the difference between Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald (I'm paraphrasing): you listen to Vaughan if you want to be inspired and hear something unusual - - you listen to Fitzgerald if you want to hear how the song goes. I think both ladies would agree with that!
The first time I heard Vaughan's recording of "Star Dust," I broke into a fit of giggles. It took a while to realize that the muted trombone at the beginning of the song is actually HER.