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Moment of Indiana History

Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagland Carmichael was born in Bloomington, Indiana on November 11, 1899. He attended school at Indiana University where he started a jazz band, “Carmichael’s Collegians”, and first received his famous nickname, Hoagy. He received a law degree from IU in the mid-20’s but having already caught the songwriting bug, the prospect of a musical career soon eclipsed his legal ambitions.

Hoagy moved to New York in 1929 and then Hollywood in 1936. While in Hollywood he wrote many songs used in Paramount films, and even appeared in ten movies himself from 1944 to 1955.

Unlike some famous Hoosiers who left the state and never looked back, Hoagy’s music constantly harkened back to his Indiana roots. With songs like “Can’t Get Indiana Off My Mind”, and lines like “I long for that ol’ country, that ‘good for the soul’ country,” he created music that was true to his Hoosier roots.

Hoagy’s simple melodies and catchy lyrics had widespread appeal, making him one of Indiana’s most enduring favorite sons.

(Photo Credit: Bass Photo Co. Collection, Indiana Historical Society)

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