Art Tatum – Stars Fell On Alabama

Thanks to OnlyJazzHQ for the You Tube

Stars Fell On Alabama is from the Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces recorded by Norman Granz in the early 1950’s rereleased on compact disc Vol. 5.  This was written music by Frank Perkins lyrics by Mitchell Parrish.  It was first recorded by Guy Lombardo with vocal by brother Carmen in 1934.  Afterwards it was recorded and performed by everyone from Jack Teagarden to John Coltrane.  What Tatum shows us in his version is that the stride bass piano can be  moving in a slow, soft  ballad style as well as dazzling in a speedy piece of music.

The title of the song comes from a book of the same name written by Carl Carmer.  Carmer wrote about life in Depression era Alabama through the eyes of a New Yorker using as a metaphor a meteor shower observed in Alabama in November, 1833.  For more, see this Wikipedia entry.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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