Academy Award Winning Songs and Soundtracks - OSF just below!

One of the things I love most about movies are the sound tracks and the songs written for them. I think some of the best music written is done for movies and my very first record every purchased was the soundtrack for Breakfast at Tiffany's by Henry Mancini when I was ten (the second record was The Chipmunks, lol - I had eclectic tastes as a kid too). I continued throughout my life to buy soundtracks for movies and I love composers like Vangelis, Mancini, John Williams, Ennio Morricone and the like.

(To keep this post from scrolling until the next Oscar ceremonies in 2010, I'm only posting the actual video for my number one all time favorite movie song - I'll link to videos for the others.)

Here are my favorite top 15 Oscar winners for Best Original Song in order from one to fifteen:
When You Wish Upon A Star - Pinnochio, 1940, Music: Leigh Harline • Lyrics: Ned Washington

Over The Rainbow - The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Music: Harold Arlen • Lyrics: E. Y. Harburg
Moon River - Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, Music: Henry Mancini • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Let The River Run - Working Girl, 1988, Music and lyrics: Carly Simon
White Christmas - Holiday Inn, 1942, Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Swinging On A Star - Going My Way, 1944, Music: James Van Heusen • Lyrics: Johnny Burke
Zip-a-DeeDoo-Dah - Song of the South, 1947, Music: Allie Wrubel • Lyrics: Ray Gilbert
Streets of Philadelphia - Philiadelphia, 1993, Music and lyrics: Bruce Springsteen
The Way We Were- The Way We Were, 1973, Music: Marvin Hamlisch • Lyrics: Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Evergreen - A Star Is Born, 1976, Music: Barbra Streisand • Lyrics: Paul Williams
Arthur's Theme - Best Than You Can Do, 1981, Music: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Christopher Cross • lyrics: Peter Allen and Christopher Cross
Three Coins in the Fountain - Three Coins in the Fountain, 1954, Music: Jule Styne • Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Days of Wine and Roses - Days of Wine and Roses, 1962, Music: Henry Mancini • Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Can You Feel The Love Tonight - The Lion King, 1994, Music: Elton John • Lyrics: Tim Rice

Here are my favorite Oscar winners for Best Soundtracks:
  1. The Wizard of Oz, 1939, Herbert Stothart
  2. Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, Henry Mancini
  3. Dr. Zhivago, 1965, Maurice Jarre
  4. Dances with Wolves, 1990, John Barry
  5. Pinocchio, 1940, Leigh Harline, Paul J. Smith and Ned Washington
  6. The King and I, 1957, Alfred Newman and Ken Darby
  7. The Music Man, 1962, Ray Heindorf
  8. Star Wars, 1977, John Williams
  9. Out of Africa, 1985, John Barry
  10. My Fair Lady, 1964, André Previn and Ken Darby
  11. The Godfather II, 1975, Nino Rota and Carmine Coppola
  12. Aladdin, 1992, Alan Menken
  13. The Lion King, 1994, Hans Zimmer
  14. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982, John Williams
  15. Chariots of Fire, 1981, Vangelis

Here's an interesting personal story about movie music that you might enjoy:
For over 20 years I made my living selling my original art at fine art fairs. I was participating in one near Scottsdale, Arizona some years ago and I happened to be humming the theme song for "The Godfather" when suddenly Hugh Downs walks into my booth. His wife was at the next booth buying some pottery and he was viewing my art as he waited. I said hello to him and then continued to hum the song. Mr. Downs turns to me and says something to the effect that he likes that song too and then he tells me an interesting fact about the music score for the movie The Godfather. He tells me that it was not eligible for Best Score because the music was not written originally for the film The Godfather - that movie scores must be written originally for the film they are nominated for.

This was a piece Oscar trivia that I had never heard before and I learned it from one of the most famous newsmen in American history! How cool is that? I had always wondered why such a great song and such a wonderful score never even got an Academy nod and it took Hugh Downs to tell me why.

The score was actually nominated in 1972 but was withdrawn as ineligible because it was written originally for the movie Fortunella by composer Nino Rota. Mr. Rota did go on to be nominated for and win the Oscar for Original Dramatic Score (along with Carmine Coppola) in 1975 for The Godfather II.

Nominees this year for Best Song:
Down to Earth - WALL-E
Jai Ho - Slumdog Millioniare
O Saya - Slumdog Millionaire

Nominees this year for Best Score:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millioniare

List of all the Nominees and Winners, 1934 to 2008

Famous Movie Lines, Quotes & Sound Bytes

Academy Award Nostalgia, Videos, Music and Moments

Best Picture Awards - Classic film clips

My 13 Favorite Best Picture Winners (Thursday Thirteen)


The Ballot boxes are on the right sidebar at The Martini Diva all week.

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  1. Loved your list of favorite movie songs. And I also liked the way you mixed your eras from fairly recently to golden oldies.
    One you omitted, however, was a favorite of mine. As a young girl, I would sing "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" over and over and over again with all the melodic pathos I could muster. Romance was alive and well in my prepubescent world, for SURE!

  2. Eileen - It almost got there, I do like the song just not as well as the others on the list.

    Maybe because romance was not high on my list in my prepubescent world, lol.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I spent so much time in the car yesterday. All the talking heads were dissing the choice of Hugh Jackman to host the Oscars tomorrow night. I guess he said they are going to sing and dance alot and people were no liking that. I hadn't thought about it before, but they were saying that East Coast hosts almost always bomb, and West Coast hosts are accepted. It's an interesting premise. I know I'll be watching! One of my favorite Oscar songs was Goodbye Girl. I loved that movie.Great blog! Can't get enought of those Oscars.

  4. Elizabeth - I figure most people aren't aware that Hugh Jackman has a very respectable voice and can dance!

    Anyone remember his short lived musical TV series Viva Laughlin? No? Well it was only on twice - I guess people just didn't get a murder mystery-gambling-musical concept, lol! But the show did prove that Jackman can sing and dance.

    I think it will be interesting to see.

  5. Elizabeth - ooops, hit the publish button before I was finished - then my internet connection went whacko on me!

    Just wanted to mention that The Goodbye Girl - also a big fav of mine - never was nominated for an Oscar. The movie itself was nominated but did not win, also nominated though not winners were Marsha Mason for Best Actress, Quinn Cummings for Supporting Actress and Neil Simon for Best Screenplay.

    The only Oscar awarded to The Goodbye Girl was given to Richard Dreyfuss for Best Actor who, at the time, was the youngest actor ever to receive that award. Which makes me realize how old he is, how old I am and how old the movie is!


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