Hoagy Carmichael: “Georgia on My Mind”
Gorrell wrote the lyrics for Hoagy’s sister, Georgia Carmichael. However, the lyrics of the song are ambiguous enough to refer either to the state or to a woman named “Georgia.” Carmichael’s 1965 autobiography, “Sometimes I Wonder”, records the origin: a friend, saxophonist and bandleader Frankie Trumbauer, suggested: “Why don’t you write a song called ‘Georgia’? Nobody lost much writing about the South.” Thus, the song is universally believed to have been written about the state.
Hoagy Carmichael composed some of America’s best loved popular songs, including “Skylark,” lyrics for “Up a Lazy River,” “Heart and Soul,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and one of the most recorded song in history, “Star Dust.” Hoagland Howard Carmichael was born in 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. He began his career as a jazz piano player when he was a law student at Indiana University in Bloomington. It was while booking bands for college dances that Hoagy became life-long friends with Jazz Age cornetist Bix Beiderbecke.