Stardust – Mel Tormé | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Did Not Chart; 1983

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Legend has it that Hoagy Carmichael was musing about a girl when a melody came to him: one that would grace the most-recorded standard in history. True or not, Hoagy did compose Star Dust around 1926 when he was a 27-year-old aspiring lawyer. Quickly forsaking a career in law, Hoagy Carmichael and His Pals debuted Star Dust*** as an instrumental on Gennett Records in 1927 at a pace considerably faster than the now-familiar ballad tempo. Jazz players quickly picked up on Hoagy’s tune, however, it didn’t take off with the general public until a law clerk/Mills Publishing staff songwriter named Mitchell Parish wrote lyrics for it in 1929. With popular recordings by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong in 1931, Star Dust was on its way. Hundreds more vocal versions followed, most notably ones by Artie Shaw (1940) and Nat “King” Cole (1957). Star Dust and Mel Tormé were another perfect match, as evidenced on this 1983 recording with jazz great George Shearing on piano.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Carl Jefferson

Lyrics Written by:

  • Hoagy Carmichael
  • Mitchell Parish


  • The live performance of “Stardust” by Mel Tormé won him the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards in 1984
  • The song was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1983