A self-confessed "Hoagophile," pianist Dave Frishberg has steeped himself in the music and lore of Hoagy Carmichael and even played the part of the composer in a Los Angeles stage production. Says Frishberg, "We look a little alike, we're built the same, we're both piano players who come out of the jazz world, we both write songs."
Frishberg says that as a teen-ager in the '40s he "loved the characters that Hoagy played in the movies -- 'To Have and Have Not,' 'Johnny Angel,' 'Young Man With a Horn.' He struck me as kind of a cross between Mose Allison and James Whitcomb Riley."
The largely self-taught Carmichael hung out with Bix Beiderbecke and other jazz greats. Explains Frishberg, "He was a jazz nut back in the '20s and a musician during his college days, and as a kid living the jazz life put all kinds of concerts together and brought a lot of musicians to Indiana University."
Frishberg will perform the songs of Hoagy Carmichael this afternoon at 2 and 5 in the Corcoran Gallery's Great American Songwriter's series. Among the selections will be "Stardust," "Memphis in June," "Moon Country" and "Hong Kong Blues." He will also do some of his own compositions, including "I'm Hip," "Sweet Kentucky Ham" and "Van Lingle Mungo."