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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thanks for the history lesson

Monday, August 13, 2007

Having grown up in Spencer, I heard quite a bit about Hoagy Carmichael.

And yet, there is always an opportunity to learn more about anything.

I'm vaguely familiar with "Stardust,"_but know "Georgia on my Mind" quite well.

I know some of Carmichael's work, but not nearly enough.

Having spent nearly an hour at the Forest Park Pavilion Sunday afternoon, I can say that my knowledge of Carmichael has grown.

The Hoagy Carmichael Sculpture and Educational Tour paid a visit to Brazil Sunday, making a stop at the pavilion.

By the look of the crowd, it can be fair to say that several people wanted to enrich themselves by getting to know one of Indiana's true legends.

The event began at 4 p.m. with a performance from the Saxations. It continued through the day with performances from the CTCC_Singers, the Fabulous 40s, the Norm Hanson Quintet, and the Brazil Concert Band.

All the while, the life-size statue of Carmichael was unveiled. The statue, estimated to weigh near one ton, sat in the southeast corner of the pavilion as patrons had many opportunities to sit next to the bronze sculpture of Carmichael at a grand piano.

Many flash bulbs were spent as residents had their cameras ready, eager to get their photo taken next to Carmichael.

There were other highlights to the tour, including educational displays detailing his illustrious career, educational handouts -- including a children's workbook -- tour posters and T-shirts and audio and video clips of many of Carmichael's performances.

It wasn't just Clay County residents that spent Sunday soaking in all the information.

Ralph Illingsworth, Linton, made the drive north on State Road 59 to see the displays and hear the music.

Carmichael went to Indiana University. I spent two years at IU_studying (sort of) and heard quite a bit about him from my family and others at the university.

However, there are so many people that really don't know much about one of Indiana's greatest legends.

In recent weeks, several people around informed me they were unaware who Carmichael really was.

Sure, they knew some of the songs, but they didn't know he had written them. They didn't know that "Stardust,"_for example, was written just 50 minutes away!

That, in a nutshell, is was Sunday's tour stop was about.

Brazil was the smallest city on the tour, which includes stops in Indianapolis, Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, New Albany, Terre Haute and Bloomington.

It's true that Carmichael's music will stand the test of time. It has already.

But there are several youth that aren't aware of who the man was, or the contributions he made to the American jazz movement.

Some of those youth don't even know "Georgia on my Mind" or that Ray Charles helped make the song immortal.

Once again, that is what the stop in Brazil was for.

There are so many people to thank for my history lesson.

But I personally want to thank_Jim Dressler. If he wouldn't have brought this to my attention, I wouldn't have been there.