Sunday, January 20, 2013


The Golden Globe Awards are history for another year, which means that the Academy Awards are right around the corner in just about a month (February 24th).  It’ll be interesting to watch, if only to see if host Seth McFarland (“Family Guy”, “American Dad” and “Ted”, one of last years’ hit movies) will insult all the stars in the auditorium.  You know he will.  No one will be safe from his zingers.  So to get you in the Oscar mood, we’ve got 5 Academy Awards music questions for you this time (and over the next couple of weeks as well).  You may not actually win a statue, but you’ll probably have fun.  And even if you don’t have a clue about the answer, these are multi-choice questions, so take a guess already.   


1.  This song won the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song’ for 1941.  Is it: a. “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” from the motion picture “Buck Privates” (performed by the Andrews Sisters)  b. “Chattanooga Choo Choo” from “Sun Valley Serenade” or c. “The Last Time I Saw Paris” from “Lady Be Good” (sung in the film by actress Ann Sothern).  Your call, which one was the big winner that night?                                                                                                                     
2.  For the 51st Academy Awards held in April of 1979, this song took home the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’ of 1978.  Is it:  a. “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from the movie “Grease” (sung by Olivia Newton-John) b. “Last Dance” from “Thank God It’s Friday” (sung by Donna Summer) or c. “Ready To Take A Chance Again” from the Chevy Chase flick, “Foul Play” (sung by Barry Manilow)  
3.  Phil Collins has won his share of awards over the years, includes Grammys as well as Academy Award nominations, but did he take home the coveted ‘Best Song’ Oscar statue for 1999 at the 72nd annual Oscar bash held in March of 2000?  Here are three choices.  Can you guess the correct winning song?  Is it:  a. “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the animated movie “Tarzan” (written and sung by Phil Collins) b. “Blame Canada” from “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” (sung by the movie’s cast) or c. “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2 (written and sung by Randy Newman). 
4.  It was the 55th annual Academy Awards held in Los Angeles on April 11, 1983 and one of the following three songs won the Oscar for ‘Best Song’ of 1982.  Can you guess the correct one?  Is it:  a. “Eye of The Tiger” from “Rocky III” (Sung by Survivor)  b. “It Might Be You” from “Tootsie” (sung by Stephen Bishop) or c. “Up Where We Belong” from “An Officer And A Gentleman” (sung by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes). 

5.  In April of 1967, five songs were up for ‘Best Original Song From a Motion Picture” for 1966.  We won’t bore you with two of the five nominees – they didn’t stand a chance.  But of the remaining three, which won the golden statue?  a. “Alfie” from the movie “Alfie” (sung by Cher)  b. “Born Free” from the motion picture of the same name (performed by Matt Monroe) or c. “Georgy Girl” from “Georgy Girl” (sung by The Seekers).  


1.  c. wins you the prize.  The music for “The Last Time I Saw Paris” was written by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.  It was NOT written for the film, but had been published in 1940, the year before the film was released.  Jerome Kern, who had previously won an Academy Award for the song “The Way You Look Tonight” in 1936, was so upset about winning his Oscar for a song not specifically written for the movie that he petitioned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to change the rules and since then, a song has to have been written specifically for a motion picture in order to be nominated.                      

2.  b. “Last Dance” took home the golden statue.  Donna Summer sang it in the movie and onto the charts, where it reached # 3 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart.  Donna followed that hit up with 4 # 1’s – “MacArthur Park” in 1978, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, a duet with Barbra Streisand.  The last three all charted in 1979.

3.  a. Phil Collins was the winner with “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the Disney animated feature, “Tarzan”.  Although Phil had many # 1 hits throughout his career, this particular song only made it to # 21 on Billboards Hot 100 chart in 1999, although it spent 19 weeks at # 1 on Billboards Adult Contemporary Chart.  In 2006, when “Tarzan” was adapted for the Broadway stage, Phil contributed new songs to the production.  

4.  Any one of those three songs could easily have won an Academy Award, but c. is the answer we were looking for.  “Up Where We Belong” was co-written by Buffy Saint-Marie and Jack Nitzsche (music) with Will Jennings (lyrics).  Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes sang the song for the movie and had a # 1 hit on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart in November of 1982.  Five years later, Jennifer Warnes would be right back at the top of the charts (along with Bill Medley) for the song, “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from the movie “Dirty Dancing”.        

5.  b. is the correct answer.  For the movie, British singer Matt Monroe sang the title song, although his vocal version of “Born Free” didn’t make the charts in North America.  Pianist Roger Williams took his instrumental version of the song to # 7 on Billboards’ Hot 100 chart.   John Barry, the man who scored many James Bond films, wrote the music for “Born Free” with Don Black penning the lyrics.  Black and Barry also collaborated on the themes from three James Bond films, “Thunderball”, “Diamonds Are Forever” and “The Man With The Golden Gun”.  Black received his 2nd Oscar nomination in 1970 (in collaboration with co-writer Elmer Bernstein) for the title song for the 1969 John Wayne film, “True Grit”.  His 3rd nomination (along with co-writer Walter Scharf) was for the title song for the 1972 movie “Ben” (which Michael Jackson took to # 1 on the singles chart).  Black was later nominated for an Academy Award twice more.  He also wrote the words to Lulu’s 1967 # 1 hit, “To Sir With Love”.

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