Nice signed photo of the composer, singer, pianist and actor
Autograph ID: 5236
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1899-1981) American composer, pianist, singer, actor, bandleader, best known for writing “Stardust”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “The Nearness of You”, and “Heart and Soul”, 4 of the most-recorded American songs of all time.
Indiana-born, sang and played piano at 6. At 18, formed friendship with Reg DuValle, a bandleader and pianist who taught him piano jazz improvization. Indiana Univ. BA 1925, Indiana Univ. School of Law LLB 1926, played piano around Indiana with his “Collegians” to support his studies. He befriended and played with cornet legend Bix Beiderbecke who introduced him to Louis Armstrong, then with King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, in Chicago. Composed “Washboard Blues” and “Boneyard Shuffle” for Curtis Hitch, also “Riverboat Shuffle”, recorded by Beiderbecke, his 1st recorded song. In 1927, finished and recorded “Star Dust” (later renamed “Stardust”, lyrics added 1929), with him doing piano solo. He got more recognition when Paul Whiteman recorded “Washboard Blues”, with Carmichael playing and singing, and the Dorsey Brothers and Beiderbecke in the orchestra. First major song with his own lyrics was “Rockin’ Chair”, recorded in 1930 by Louis Armstrong and Mildred Bailey.
To NYC summer 1929, hired Duke Ellington’s agent and publisher Irving Mills to set up recording dates. In Oct. 1929 the stock market crashed but fortunately, Louis Armstrong recorded “Rockin’ Chair” giving him a badly needed boost. He next composed “Georgia on My Mind”, composed & recorded “Up a Lazy River” 1930 (lyrics by Sidney Arodin) and the 1st recording of “Stardust” (lyrics by Mitchell Parish) was recorded by Bing Crosby 1931. Joined ASCAP 1931 and worked for Ralph Peer’s Southern Music Co. 1932 as a songwriter, first music firm to occupy the new Brill Building, famous NYC songwriting mecca. In 1933, he began collaborating with lyricist Johnny Mercer on “Thanksgiving”, “Moon Country”, and “Lazybones”, selling over 350,000 copies in 3 months. In 1935 he started composing songs for a division of Warner Brothers, 1st movie song “Moonburn” appeared in film version of “Anything Goes.” In 1935 he moved to California and earned $1,000 a week with Paramount. In 1937 he appeared in movie “Topper”, singing his “Old Man Moon”. With Paramount lyricist Frank Loesser, wrote “Two Sleepy People” in 1938, and “Heart and Soul”, “Small Fry”, and “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)”. His relationship with Johnny Mercer led to “Skylark” in 1942, recorded almost immediately by Glenn Miller, Dinah Shore, and Helen Forrest (with Harry James).
In 1943, Carmichael returned to film in “To Have and Have Not”, opposite Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall, and sang “Hong Kong Blues” and “The Rhumba Jumps”, and played piano as Bacall sang “How Little We Know”. He acted in 14 films, always playing at least one of his songs, including “Young Man with a Horn”, incl. multi-Oscar winner “The Best Years of Our Lives”. Between 1944-48, he hosted 3 musical variety radio programs. “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening”, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, won his 1st Oscar for Best Original Song, and Mercer his 2nd of 4. In the early 50s, he appeared on popular TV variety shows. Carmichael starred in a 1956 episode of NBC’s anthology series, “The Joseph Cotten Show”, was a regular on NBC’s “Laramie” (1959–1963), co-starred in a “Playhouse 90” episode (1957), etc. He was inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971 with Duke Ellington.
SP, 10 x 8 b&w flat finish bust portrait of Carmichael looking to his right, in jacket and tie, wearing a hat, signed with sentiment.”