Movie Music Week Day 2

When you talk about movie music there are many things that you can think of. There are two different academy awards for original music. One is for song and the other is for score. There are many tremendous movie scores out there and some of them are etched into our collective conscious. For example, just like everyone recognizes the dum-dum-dum DUM of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, so too, many people (at least over a certain age) would recognize John Williams score of Star Wars (da-dum da-da-da-DA dum, da-da-da-DA dum, da-da-da-da) and others. I have chosen to write a little about movie songs, but I wanted to acknowledge that movies are more than just a few songs and the scores are really what sticks with us.

Yesterday I highlighted some classic rock songs from movies, today I want to focus on some more mellow pop songs. Again, the list is quite large out there of songs to choose from and of the three songs I am picking here only one became long lasting major hit. All three movies are from 1967-69 and were major hits. First is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). This movie made Robert Redford a household name. He had already done tons of television and a mild success with the Neil Simon movie Barefoot in the Park, but this movie, part comedy part drama solidified him as a real Hollywood Star. He co-starred with Paul Newman with whom he would make another hit movie a few years later (The Sting). The movie won four academy awards including best song for Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The song was the number one song on the Billboard top 100 for 4 weeks in January 1970, and I think still a great song.

Also in 1969, the breakthrough movie Midnight Cowboy was released. This movie with its themes of sex and homosexuality became the only X rated movie (not to be confused with pornography, but similar to our current NC-17 rating) to win an academy award. The song Everybody’s Talkin’ won a grammy award for best male pop vocal performance.

Finally before both of these movies, was the immortal The Graduate. This movie, similar to Easy Rider was part of the new Hollywood and is significant in so many ways that there is no room to talk about it here. The Song Mrs. Robinson was a major part of the movie. Paul Simon was working on this song which was fully released a few years later on their album Bookends. The song was a number 1 hit for Simon and Garfunkel but won nothing from the movie.


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