Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stars Fell on Alabama (If You Haven't Heard)

The annual Leonid meteor shower was so pronounced on the night of November 12-13, 1833, that many thought it was the end of the world. The shower was especially dramatic in the Southeast, with Alabama being the focal point.

Perhaps much of this night's history would have been lost if not for University of Alabama English professor Carl Cramer. In early 1934, he published a series of essays detailing several events depicted in Alabama folklore. More than one essay told of the "night the stars fell," a night so etched in the memory of many that later events were often described as happening so many years after the famous meteor shower.

Cramer was a New York native whose book received wide publicity for its day. After hearing of the event, Mitchell Parrish and Frank Perkins were inspired to write the song Stars Fell on Alabama later that year. The number of artists who have recorded this standard are too numerous to mention, but certainly Jimmy Buffett's rendition tops the list for many of us.

We invite you to watch the following video. If any one of you should still feel Stars Fell on Alabama shouldn't be the official state song, there's no musical hope for you.