So “The Actor” won most of the major Academy Awards this year (as expected). And there were no real upsets, save for Meryl Streep winning over Viola Davis in the ‘Best Actress’ category. But enough reviewing, there are plenty of other blogs that do that – let’s get to the trivia questions – after all that’s what this site is all about. This time, the questions deal with Academy Award winning SONGS. Let me repeat that for those hard of reading. It’s about Academy Award winning SONGS. Not movies, not actors or actresses...SONGS. Every song was an Oscar winner and every song went Top 20 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart. So, how good is your knowledge of Academy Award winning songs? Let’s find out right now!
1. This Academy Award winning song for 1961 was co-written by a man who won 4 Oscars and was nominated 18 times. He also won 20 Grammy Awards along with many other accolades. This song was an important part of the ‘61 Audrey Hepburn film, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” and went to # 11 on the singles chart TWICE that year One of the hits versions was by Jerry Butler, the other by the co-composer. Can you name the song and the award winning co-writer?
2. This Academy Award winning writer had co-written dozens of chart hits long before he won his only Oscar in 1971. Those hits included: “Hold On I’m Comin’” and “Soul Man”, both hits for Sam and Dave in the 1960’s. He then had his own successful solo career, culminating with his Academy Award win for ‘Best Original Song’ for the theme from this film about a black private eye. Can you dig it? What’s the song and who’s the artist?
3. At the 1984 Academy Awards, the 5 hit movie songs competed for the coveted Oscar statuette were: a. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) with music and lyrics by Phil Collins; b. “Footloose” – music and lyrics by Kenny Loggins; c. “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” (also from the movie “Footloose”) – music and lyrics by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford (as sung by Denise Williams); d. “I Just Called To Say I Love You” with words and music by Stevie Wonder from the movie “Lady In Red”; and e. Ghostbusters” with music and lyrics by Ray Parker Jr. Every one of those 5 hits went to # 1. So which song won the Oscar that year?
4. This artist is originally from New Jersey, but the title of his 1993 Academy Award winning song focused on a city in a neighbouring state. The film it came from starred Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. There was very little ‘brotherly love’ in this movie between Tom Hanks’ character and the company he used to work for. Can you name the song and the writer/performer?
5. This one’s only 10 years old, so it should be a snap to answer. The Academy Award winning ‘Best Original Song’ in 2002 came from a Detroit native who also made his acting debut in the film, which was loosely based on his real life growing up in the Motor City. His real name is Marshall Mathers III, but he goes by one name. Can you guess who the artist is and what was his Academy Award winning song?
1. “Moon River” was the song we’re looking for. The music was written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Mancini’s version went to # 11 on Billboard in 1961 as did Jerry Butler’s rendition. Mancini and Mercer won the Oscar the following year as well for their theme song from the Jack Lemmon film, “The Days Of Wine And Roses”.
2. Isaac Hayes and “Theme From Shaft” are the correct answers. Along with co-writer Dave Porter, Isaac was an in house writer/producer at Stax records in Memphis during the 1960’s. He started having hits of his own in the late ‘60’s and ‘70’s. His first major chart hit was a 1969 Christmas song called “The Mistletoe And Me” which made it to # 5 on the Christmas singles chart. “Theme From Shaft” was Isaac’s only # 1 hit and his only Oscar win. He was the voice of Chef in “South Park” for several years and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Isaac Hayes died on August 10, 2008.
3. Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” was the Oscar winner for 1984.
4. Bruce Springsteen was the New Jersey native we were looking for. His 1993 Academy Award winning song was “Streets of Philadelphia” from the Jonathan Demme directed film, “Philadelphia” beat out Neil Young’s title song from the same movie as well as songs from “Sleepless In Seattle”, “Poetic Justice” and “Beethoven’s 2nd”.
5. Marshall Mathers is better known as Eminem. His 2002 film, “8 Mile” won the Oscar for ‘Best original Song’ the following year for “Lose Yourself”.