From the Movies
It is amazing how many popular songs we listen too that have originated from a movie. These songs get covered so many times they can take on a life of their own, sometimes we don’t even know what movie the song came from let alone associate it with one to begin with. One such song I recently mention in ‘Banned Songs’ was “Baby it’s Cold Outside“. Here are some other songs written specifically for a movie (not just used in a movie soundtrack), these being such a great tune artists just had to make another version and sometimes into the many hundreds. I mentioned in an earlier blog the most covered song of all-time (perhaps minus some religious and Christmas songs) was “Summertime“, but it was actually from a play that was made into a movie so I’ll attempt to stick to the movie origins only.
The number one song in this category I have already referenced in an earlier post, that being “Over the Rainbow” written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg and performed of course by Judy Garland. Another near the top of the list recently came to my attention once again, through a version from Frank Ocean in which the blended tracks gives the impression of more than one singer. He lists this song as one of his favorites to cover, “Moon River” which he recorded in February of last year.
The original version is of course from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. “Moon River” sung by Hepburn in the movie is one of the most iconic scenes in film. Written for the movie by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, it was nearly cut from the film until Hepburn found out and was quoted as saying “not over my dead body” and possibly stronger language as well, so we know how that turned out. A song covered at least 549 times according to Secondhandsongs.com. Andy Williams used this as his signature song even though it was never released as a single.
Here is a playlist of more cover versions.
“When You Wish Upon a Star” Written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for the Disney Movie adaptation of Pinocchio. Performed by Cliff Edwards in the character of Jiminy Cricket. One of the best covers of any song, the amazing Louis Armstrong (1968). There are well over 350 versions of this iconic song so I will provide another playlist.
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which turns 50 years old this year. Performed by B.J. Thomas, the seventh take was the one chosen for the movie with Thomas’s touch of laryngitis being just what Bacharach and David were looking for! Covered over 350 times the actual single released hit #1 on charts around the world was a non-laryngitis version from Thomas. Ray Stevens turned the initial song offer down but later recorded it in 1970. Dionne Warwick a longtime collaborator with Bacharach (1970).
A playlist of all the videos.
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