With the “surprise” Oscar nominations still being discussed, it’s easy to be reminded of years past in which there were other big omissions. Let’s flashback to 1977 and Best Song. Which of these songs won the Oscar:
“The Greatest Love of All” from “The Greatest”
“How Deep Is Your Love” from “Saturday Night Fever”
“New York, New York” from “New York, New York”
“Staying Alive” from “Saturday Night Fever”
“You Light Up My Life” from “You Light Up My Life”
If you guessed “You Light Up My Life,” you’re right. But the real story is NONE of the other songs were nominated. That’s right, they were snubbed and overlooked. Best Song has been notorious in passing by either classics or modern tunes befitting ever-changing times. If this doesn’t prove it then remember that “Talk to the Animals” beat “The Look of Love” for Best Song in 1967.
And perhaps you agree with the real other Best Song nominees from 1977. “Nobody Does it Better” from “The Spy Who Loved Me” was a really good song and one of the biggest hits in Carly Simon’s career. But sing-a-long with me as we remember these other nominated “classics” from 1977:
“Candle on the Water” from “Pete’s Dragon”
“Someone’s Waiting for You” from “The Rescuers” and the most “memorable” of all:
“The Slipper and the Rose Waltz: He Danced With Me/She Danced With Me” from “The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella”
1977 also brought a few other memorable songs that were snubbed. “Saturday Night Fever” also had “More Than a Woman” and “If I Can’t Have You.” And, “New York, New York” also had another great song in “But The World Goes ‘Round.” The band Seals & Croft had a great tune called “My Fair Share” from the movie “One on One” as well as David Gates wrote and recorded “The Goodbye Girl.” Not to mention there was a whole slew of Richard Baskin songs from the acclaimed film “Welcome to LA.”
The American Film Institute has compiled a list of the 100 most famous movie songs of all time. The two most popular songs on the list from 1977 were the un-nominated “New York, New York” at # 31 and “Staying Alive” at #9.
But enough about 1977 – the Academy has overlooked some of history’s most esteemed and influential composers to honor “safer” songs that seem to bode better with middle American or older Academy voters.. Think about it, the Beatles’ never received one Best Song nomination for songs from any of their films. So no nomination for “Help,” “Can’t Buy Me Love” or “Let It Be.” And most Elvis Presley movies were ignored too including “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
Simon & Garfunkel also were shunned with “Mrs. Robinson” from “The Graduate” and Prince missed his Best Song nod with “When Doves Cry” from “Purple Rain.” Even some older cool cats who were eligible didn’t get nominated including Curtis Mayfield and Al Jolson. And then there are artists whose movies didn’t do well, but the songs that came out of them were incredible including Paul Simon and “One Trick Pony” and Neil Diamond’s tons of hits from “The Jazz Singer” – “Love on the Rocks,” “America” and “Hello Again.”
We can’t say that Disney stole all of the nominations as one of their classic songs “Some Day My Price Will Come” from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” didn’t get nominated. But it’s in good company with these other classics that were ignored: “That’s Entertainment,” “Make Em Laugh,” “Goldfinger,” “The Rose,” “To Sir With Love,” “Wicked Game” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
So we can’t figure out the Oscars. But we watch ‘em. Tune in Feb. 27 to see this year’s upsets. For more info, go to Oscars.org.