Statue honors Hoagy Carmichael

A bronze statue of Bloomington songwriter and jazz composer Hoagy Carmichael soon will sit along Jordan Avenue northeast of the Indiana University Auditorium.

The new statue honoring the writer of “Stardust,” “Georgia on My Mind” and “Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” will be dedicated at a ceremony at 5 p.m. Sept. 18, IU officials said.

Carmichael was born in Bloomington in 1899 and earned both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from IU as he refined his musical gifts. He died in 1981.

“Hoagy was an important figure in the new jazz era of this country and someone who was breaking new ground on the music scene,” IU Vice President Terry Clapacs said in a statement. “His writing and recording
the song ‘Star Dust’-which at one time was the most recorded song in the history of the world-is a remarkable achievement, considering it was written right here, across Indiana Avenue, where the Gables building sits.

“I think the statue captures the spirit of Hoagy Carmichael in a way that Indiana University likes to remember him.”

The sculptor, Michael McAuley, grew up in Bloomington but didn’t learn about Carmichael until he attended IU. He returned to Bloomington to open a design studio and soon noticed there is little commemoration of Carmichael’s accomplishments. McAuley set about to change that.

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