I’m loving all the good movies out there at the moment, so with Oscars week as my inspiration, it was surely time for a show about Music and The Movies. Yes, two hours of bliss for film and music fans. The show wasn’t just about soundtracks or great music in the movies. There are just some classic movie moments where a song totally complements or enhances the action. These were the songs that I looked for this week. Songs or pieces of music that, when you hear them, you immediately ‘feel’ the scene from the film.
Naturally, time is always an issue, so many great movie/music moments didn’t make the cut. But there will be other shows. If you want to contribute to that list, send me a note and I’ll start compiling now for a program down the line.
We opened the show with a snippet from the 1937 animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – ‘Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go’. Not only was this Disney’s first feature animation, it was also the first real soundtrack album ever released. The film is a classic as were the next three numbers: Marlene Dietrich with ‘Falling in Love Again’ (from Blue Angel), Dooley Wilson with ‘As Time Goes By’ (from Casablanca) and Gene Kelly singing the title song from Singing in the Rain. By the way, ‘Singing in the Rain’, you will remember, was also used to terrifying effect in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. But in these gloomy times, I think I’d rather remember the absolute joy of Gene Kelly dancing and singing in the rain. Have a look:
The first hour was jammed packed with great moments: ‘Rock Around the Clock’ from Blackboard Jungle, ‘Mrs. Robinson’ from The Graduate, ‘Everybody’s Talkin” from Midnight Cowboy. And we had movie tickets to give away, thanks to the Dendy Cinemas here in Byron Bay.
It was also fun using some of the iconic pieces of music composed for the screen. Who can’t recognise, in a nano-second, the music from Psycho‘s shower scene? Or the opening music for Star Wars? And as our competition proved – everyone immediately knew the music from 2001 A Space Odyssey.In the second hour we played some Eric Clapton, Jimmy Cliff, Ray Charles, Creedence Clearwater Revivial and some Bob Dylan, among others. And of course I played my favourite – Roy Orbinson. Despite not particularly liking the film, it had to be ‘Pretty Woman’. Films covered included Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid….. whew, we flew through the show.
I’m a big Martin Scorsese fan. Do you remember the scene from Mean Streets where he used the Rolling Stones song ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’? Johhny Boy, played by Robert de Niro, walks into the bar to meet Harvey Keitel’s character (looking incredibly young btw). It was shot in slow motion with the Stones song playing in the background. His character is summed up in less than 30 seconds: he is trouble with a capital T. He’s exciting and full of nervous energy – he is Jumpin Jack Flash. Wow! Scorsese is the master of film scores in my mind. I do love the way that Tarantino plays with image and sound, but for me Scorsese is king. Check it out on this You Tube grab:
Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ from the film Philadelphia is a great song and it was good to hear that again. And I really enjoyed including Creedence Clearwater’s ‘Green River’ from the film Indian Runner. This film might not immedately come to mind, but it is well worth finding at your local video store. It was directed by Sean Penn. As you know, he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role of Harvey Milk in the film Milk – well worth catching, too.
I was very sad to hear of Blossom Dearie’s passing a couple of weeks ago. This wonderful jazz singer was unique and I was happy to play a song that was included in the indie film Kissing Jessica Steyne: ‘I Wish You Love’ as a dedication to her.
And to close the show, a great song from Lou Reed – ‘Perfect Day’ – from the film Trainspotting. This film was Danny Boyle’s breakout hit in 1996 . So great to see the enormous Oscar success of his latest film Slumdog Millionaire. I’ll leave you with some of the lyrics from ‘Perfect Day’:
Just A Perfect Day, Feed Animals In The Zoo Then Later, A Movie, Too,
And Then Home.
Oh It’s Such A Perfect Day, I’m Glad I Spent It With You.
Oh Such A Perfect Day
Here is the playlist, with the films they featured in:
Hi Ho Its Off To Work We Go. Frank Churchill/Larry Morey – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Falling In Love Again. Marlene Dietrich – Blue Angel (1930)
As Time Goes By. Dooley Wilson – Casablanca (1942)
Singing In The Rain. Gene Kelly – Singing in the Rain (1953)
Rock Around the Clock. Bill Haley & His Comets – Blackboard Jungle (1955)
Psycho/The Murder. Composer Bernard Hermann/Los Angeles Philharmonic – Psycho (1960)
Baby Elephant Walk. Composer Henry Mancini- Hatari (1961)
Mrs Robinson. Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate (1967)
The Blue Danube Waltz. Johann Strauss Ⅱ/The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)
Everybody’s Talkin’. Harry Nilsson – Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Raindrops Keep Falling on my head. ) B J Thomas – Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969)
Born to Be Wild. Steppenwolf – Easy Rider (1969)
Theme From Shaft – Issac Hayes Shaft (1971)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The Rolling Stones – Mean Streets (1973)
Knockin On Heaven’s Door. Bob Dylan – Pat Garret & Billy The Kid (1973)
Many Rivers to Cross. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come (1973)
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. The Shirelles(with DJ Wolfman) – American Graffiti (1973)
Tears on my Pillow. Little Anthony and the Imperials – Grease (1978)
Blue Velvet. Bobby Vinton – Blue Velvet/(1986)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. The Rolling Stones – Apocalypse Now (1973)
I’m Easy. Keith Carradine – Nashville (1975)
Taxi Driver clip (1976) – composer Bernard Hermann/ Robert de Niro vocals – Taxi Driver (1976)
Staying Alive. Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Star Wars Theme. Composer John Williams/London Symphony Orchestra – Star Wars (1977)
Shake A Tail Feather. Ray Charles – Blues Brothers (1980)
Be My Baby. The Ronettes – Dirty Dancing & GoodFellas (1987)
Oh, Pretty Woman. Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman (1990)
Unchained Melody. Righteous Brothers – Ghost (1990)
Sunshine Of Your Love. Eric Clapton/Cream – Goodfellas (1990)
Green River. Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Indian Runner (1991)
Streets of Philadelphia. Bruce Springsteen – Philadelphia (1993)
I Wish You Love. Blossom Dearie – Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Perfect Day. Lou Reed – Trainspotting (1996)