The Grammy-Oscar connection

  • Andre Previn, whose 11 Grammy awards are mostly for his work in the classical field, won his first two Grammys for movie soundtracks he supervised and conducted: Lerner & Loewe’s “Gigi” (1958) and Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” (1959). He also won Oscars for both.

  • Duke Ellington composed his first movie score in 1959 for “Anatomy of a Murder.” Oscar music voters failed to nominate the jazz giant, but Grammy voters were wowed, rewarding him with three Grammys for the LP: soundtrack, performance by a dance band and musical composition.

  • Henry Mancini’s 20 Grammys are the most for any full-time film composer. Twelve were for his own music on four early ’60s films: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1960), “The Days of Wine and Roses” and “Hatari!” (both 1962) and “The Pink Panther” (1964), all in various categories including composition, arrangement and performance.

  • Grammy voters in the ’60s were surprisingly eclectic in their choices, nominating composers who were never recognized by Oscar. Among them: Eddie Sauter (“Mickey One,” 1965), Sonny Rollins (“Alfie,” 1966), Ron Grainer (“To Sir With Love,” 1967), Neal Hefti (“The Odd Couple,” 1968) and Christopher Komeda (“Rosemary’s Baby,” 1968).

  • British composer John Barry already has five Oscars for such sweeping orchestral statements as “Out of Africa” and “Dances With Wolves.” But while he nabbed Grammys for those scores, Recording Academy voters also paid attention to his jazz chops, rewarding him in 1969 for “Midnight Cowboy” and 1985 for “The Cotton Club.”

  • Blaxploitation films never fared well at the Oscars, although “Shaft” won a 1971 Oscar for song. “Shaft” music received eight Grammy noms, and won two for Isaac Hayes. Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” score was ruled Oscar-ineligible because Mayfield couldn’t actually write music; he received four 1972 Grammy noms (for score, two for the song “Freddie’s Dead” and another for an instrumental track) but didn’t win.

  • Italian composer Nino Rota’s 1972 Oscar nomination for the music of “The Godfather” was withdrawn when officials learned that his love theme had been recycled from the score for a 1958 Italian movie. NARAS voters didn’t care; they awarded him the original-score Grammy anyway.

  • The most unusual Grammy lineup for best movie soundtrack was in 1973, when for the first time none of the nominees — all bestselling recording artists — matched the Oscar nominees for original score: Neil Diamond for “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” Gato Barbieri for “Last Tango in Paris,” Bob Dylan for “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” Taj Mahal for “Sounder” and Paul McCartney and George Martin for “Live & Let Die.” Diamond’s win for the song score of “Jonathan” is his only Grammy.

  • No James Bond movie song has ever won an Oscar (although “Live and Let Die,” “Nobody Does It Better” and “For Your Eyes Only” were nominated), and only one has won a Grammy. Longtime Beatles producer George Martin won for arrangement accompanying vocalists for McCartney and Wings’ “Live and Let Die” in 1973.

  • Composer Marvin Hamlisch won four 1974 Grammys including song of the year for “The Way We Were.” But the Grammy that “raised the most eyebrows,” Variety said at the time, was his win as new artist, beating out Bad Company, Phoebe Snow and David Essex, among others. He hasn’t won a Grammy since — although he also has three Oscars, four Emmys, a Tony and the Pulitzer Prize.

  • The only tie for song of the year in the 47-year history of the Grammys occurred in 1977, and both were movie tunes: “Evergreen,” the love theme from “A Star Is Born,” by Barbra Streisand and Paul Williams, and “You Light Up My Life,” by ex-jingle writer Joe Brooks. Both also won Oscars, “Evergreen” in ’76 and “You Light Up My Life” in ’77 (because of slightly different eligibility years).

  • The biggest scandal in Oscar-music history was the failure of “Saturday Night Fever” to score a single Oscar nom for any of its chart-topping Bee Gees songs. But the album won album of the year honors at the 1978 Grammys, one of only three movie soundtracks ever to do so. The others were “The Bodyguard” (1993) and “O Brother Where Art Thou?” (2001).

  • Quincy Jones’ record of 27 Grammys — second only to classical music’s Sir Georg Solti — includes only one for his film work: a 1978 Grammy for instrumental arrangement for the overture to the film version of “The Wiz” (which also won him an Oscar nomination for adaptation score).

  • John Williams’ streak of six straight Grammy wins for original film score (“Star Wars,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Superman,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) was broken in 1983 by “Flashdance,” the first of three song albums to dominate the category — “Purple Rain” and “Beverly Hills Cop” followed — before Grammy officials revised the rules to clarify it as “original instrumental background score.”

  • The film-music community was shocked when Italian maestro Ennio Morricone failed to win the 1986 Oscar for his otherwise acclaimed masterpiece “The Mission.” Oddly enough, he wasn’t even nominated for the Grammy, although he won the following year for his (also Oscar-nominated) score for “The Untouchables.”

  • Randy Newman, long acknowledged as one of the finest American songwriters of the past half-century, has four Grammys, but not for his own albums, only for his film work: two for songs (from “Monsters Inc.” and “Toy Story 2”) and two for scores (“The Natural” and “A Bug’s Life”). At the Oscars, he has one win (for the score of “Monsters Inc.”) and 15 additional noms dating back to 1981.

  • Legendary songwriter Burt song of theyear Grammy, and it’s for a movie song most people don’t know was a movie song: the AIDS fund-raising anthem “That’s What Friends Are For,” in 1986. The song, famously sung by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder, was penned for the 1982 Ron Howard movie “Night Shift,” and sung on the soundtrack — less than memorably — by Rod Stewart.

  • Movie music dominated the ’89 Grammys. “Wind Beneath My Wings” won both record and song of the year, the result of Bette Midler singing it in “Beaches.” Dave Grusin won two for composing and arranging the jazz score for “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” along with another one for arranging a suite from his score for “The Milagro Beanfield War,” for which he won the Oscar the previous year.

  • The first of Peter Gabriel’s four Grammys was for his score for Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ.” The album, called “Passion,” won in 1989 as New Age performance.

  • James Horner, best known for the music of “Titanic,” won the Oscar but lost the 1998 Grammy for that score (the winner was John Williams, for “Saving Private Ryan”). However, Horner won three Grammys (including song of the year and, as producer, for record of the year) for “My Heart Will Go On,” the Celine Dion song from “Titanic” that also won the song Oscar.

  • Ex-Oingo Boingo front man Danny Elfman got zero respect from Oscar until 1997, when he was nominated for both “Good Will Hunting” and “Men in Black” — but Grammy voters treated him far better and earlier, awarding him a 1989 Grammy for instrumental composition for “Batman” and noms in the next two years for the scores of “Dick Tracy” and “Edward Scissorhands.”

  • Among living composers, Alan Menken holds the current record for Oscar wins at eight. But he has even more gold from the Grammys — 10, all awarded for Disney animated musicals between 1990 and 1995: two for “The Little Mermaid,” three for “Beauty and the Beast,” four for “Aladdin” and one for “Pocahontas.”

  • Critics may have scoffed at the blockbuster “Independence Day,” but composer David Arnold — who has never been recognized in Hollywood, either with a Golden Globe or Oscar nomination — won the instrumental-score Grammy in 1996.

  • Respected film composers Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein — each of whom won a single Oscar, Goldsmith for “The Omen” and Bernstein for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” — never won a Grammy. Bernstein, however, received a Governor’s Award from the Los Angeles branch of the Recording Academy in 2004, just a few months before his death.

  • Record of the year honors have gone a surprising 10 times to songs from movies, starting with Percy Faith’s recording of “A Summer Place” in 1959 and ending with “My Heart Will Go On,” the Celine Dion song from “Titanic,” in 1998. Henry Mancini won twice, for “Moon River” and “Days of Wine and Roses,” as did Eric Clapton, for “Tears in Heaven” (from “Rush”) and “Change the World” (from “Phenomenon”).

  • Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” from “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” won the 1999 Grammy for song written for a motion picture. It was ruled ineligible for Oscars, however, because it’s in the movie for only about 15 seconds and is barely audible. (This year’s “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” from “Brokeback Mountain” was ruled ineligible for Oscar for similar reasons.)

  • There was no music for the first two hours-plus of the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away,” and so little music in the finale that it didn’t merit Oscar consideration. But composer Alan Silvestri has his only Grammy for the theme, which won in 2001 in the category of instrumental composition.

  • Perennial Oscar bridesmaid Thomas Newman — nominated seven times without a win for such favorite scores as “The Shawshank Redemption,” “American Beauty” and “Finding Nemo” — has been luckier at the Grammys. He won in 2000 for the soundtrack of “American Beauty” and a pair of Grammys in 2002 for the theme to HBO’s “Six Feet Under.”

  • Eminem may have shocked the Oscar audience by winning Best Song for the rap “Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile,” but it was no surprise to see him take two 2003 Grammys (for rap song and male rap solo performance) for the work. Oddly enough, though, he lost in the movie-song category to the whimsical “A Mighty Wind,” from the Christopher Guest mockumentary about old folkies.

  • The Grammys gave Howard Shore the trifecta he was denied at the Academy Awards. He won Oscars for the first and third films of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “Return of the King,” but wasn’t even nominated for the second film, “The Two Towers.” NARAS voters compensated him with the original-score Grammys for all three as well as a movie-song Grammy for the final film’s “Into the West” in 2004.                                                

Sources:;; “The Grammys” by Thomas O’Neil; “Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards” by Mason Wiley & Damien Bona

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