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Early Swing Music by Hoagie Carmichael

The Great Depression saw a decline in record production but by the mid-thirties a recovery was underway lead by a new generation of composers and musicians. The Knott’s record collection has several examples from the early swing era.

This recording of Hoagie Carmichael‘s Stardust from 1936 has the same song on both sides. We get a performance by Tommy Dorsey and a female vocalist on one side and Benny Goodman on the other. Here is Dorsey’s version with Edythe Wright singing:

On the B-side we have a thoroughly danceable version by Goodman.


Hoagie Carmichael appeared in a number of movies. Here is a record containing two songs from To Have and Have Not where he plays and sings in a hotel bar. This is his recording of Hong Kong Blues from the movie.

Lauren Bacall makes her first screen appearance in this movie and introduces the song How Little We Know. Here we have Carmichael‘s orchestra backing Anita Noyer singing it.

Latin rhythms were popular during the war, possibly due to the fact that Latin America was seen as a peaceful refuge in a troubled world.


Hoagie Carmichael (1936)

A: Stardust (Goodman)

B: Stardust (Dorsey)

Hoagie Carmichael  (1944)

A: How Little We Know

B: Hong Kong Blues