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Stars Fell on Alabama

This is also an interesting link that tells the true story of what happened in November of 1833.

Stars Fell on Alabama
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Stars Fell on Alabama" is the title of a 1934 jazz standard composed by Frank Perkins with lyrics by Mitchell Parish.

It is also the title of a 1934 book by Carl Carmer in which he recounts the time he spent traveling through Alabama in the late 1920s as a professor at the University of Alabama. The book was republished in 1985 and again in 2000 with a new introduction by Howell Raines (ISBN 0-8173-1072-X).

Sections of this book were adapted by Brad Vice in his short story "The Bear Bryant Funeral Train." His failure to acknowledge his debt to Carmer led the organizers of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction to revoke the prize he was given in 2004.

The titles of both works refer to a spectacular occurrence of the Leonid meteor shower that was observed in Alabama on November 12-13, 1833. As reported by the Florence Gazette: "[There were] thousands of luminous bodies shooting across the firmament in every direction. There was little wind and not a trace of clouds, and the meteors succeeded each other in quick succession.""

One of the earliest recordings was by the Guy Lombardo orchestra, with his brother Carmen doing a vocal. This version was recorded on August 27, 1934 and issued by Decca Records as catalog number 104.

The song was later performed by over 100 artists. Among them are: Lee Wiley, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong; Jack Teagarden; Jimmy Buffett; Billie Holiday; Anita O'Day; Dean Martin; Kay Starr; Frank Sinatra; Doris Day; Frankie Laine; Erroll Garner; Kate Smith; Mel Torme; Ricky Nelson; Stan Getz; Ben Webster; and Cannonball Adderley.

The Marching Southerners of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama perform the tune at every home football game and exhibition. The song has become the unofficial anthem of both the Southerners, and Jacksonville State University.

In 2002, The phrase "Stars Fell on Alabama" was added to Alabama's license plates and the familiar "Heart of Dixie" text reduced to a very small size. (A 1951 law requires Alabama license plates to display the words "Heart of Dixie" and a conventionalized heart shape, the heart in addition to the words.)


[edit] References
Hall, John. (Winter 2000) "The Night the Stars Fell." Alabama Heritage Magazine No. 55
Code of Alabama: Section 32-6-54 (1951) and 32-6-54.1 (1997). The amendment removes the requirement for special-purpose plates

Emphasis Added
Hi to all,

I don't know if it still is done; but, when I was in high school it was a tradition that the last song the band played at all formal dances was "Stars Fell On Alabama." That was always the closing dance -- and one last chance to get cheek-to-cheek with your date.

The song always brings a thrill to me heart.

By the way, when I saw that Firenze had begun this discussion last night, I pulled Carmer's book off my shelf and began reading it again. I am enjoying it just as much as I did the first read.

Thank you, Firenze, for stirring the memories for me.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill
Look in Miscellaneous under "New Tag."

Yes, I was surprised some months ago when the clerk of a county in South Alabama related she had never heard the story of the famous meteor shower. I thought this was something we all learned in grade school. Still, the tags always reminded me mainly of the beautiful song. A friend has a Bobby Denton CD in which he sings STOA. I personally think it should be our state song and not some doggerel poem by Julia Tutwiler.

Bill, I had never heard that about the song closing dances. It paints a really sweet picture of a classier era.
Not all of us are Alabama natives and have wondered about the "Stars of Alabama" license plate. The only thing I was told was it was about some meteor shower that happened years ago. It sounded pretty stupid to me. I never liked it and people outside the state seemed to have the same idea.

Thanks for the true history. I had never heard the song before. Now I see it from an entirely different point of view. The song was made even more special seeing all the old performing artists in the video. What a treat!

I love the history of Alabama music. This is such a special place!!!
The great philosopher and song writer/entertainer from Alabama, Jimmy Buffett also did the song, and several years ago, attempted to get the song, declared the "official" song for the State of Alabama. As I understand it, the old-timers were afraid of any change and elected to keep the current song (whatever the hell it is) as the state song.
quote:
Originally posted by FirenzeVeritas:
Look in Miscellaneous under "New Tag."

Yes, I was surprised some months ago when the clerk of a county in South Alabama related she had never heard the story of the famous meteor shower. I thought this was something we all learned in grade school. Still, the tags always reminded me mainly of the beautiful song. A friend has a Bobby Denton CD in which he sings STOA. I personally think it should be our state song and not some doggerel poem by Julia Tutwiler.

Bill, I had never heard that about the song closing dances. It paints a really sweet picture of a classier era.


Fire, I think that song by Bobby Denton is "A FALLEN STAR".

Don't remember him ever doing a record "Stars Fell on Alabama"

Some of the words as I remember them:

A fallen star
That's what you are
The twinkle in your eye
Is daring me to try.

Wish I could remember more of it.

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