With the announcement on Saturday (January 8) of death by Oscar and Grammy-winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman at the age of 93, it’s the right time to look back at one of the most impressive feats in Oscar history.
When the nominations for the 55th annual Academy Award announced on February 17, 1983, lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman achieved an unprecedented feat: They had three out of five nominations for best original song. Furthermore, all three songs are from different movies and written by different composers.
In the nearly four decades since, four other musicians or songwriting groups have won three awards for best original song in the same year, but, in each case, all from the same movie. The Bergmans did it the hard way, with songs from three different movies.
Bergmans was nominated for “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” are from Burt Reynolds/Goldie Hawn movie Best friends (Michel Legrand, composer); “If We Were Loved” are from Yes, Giorgio, opera star Luciano Pavarottionly engaged in the field of cinema (John Williams, composer); and “It Might Be You” from box office success Tootsie, highlighted Dustin Hoffman (Dave Grusin, composer).
The movie Pavarotti was a commercial and critical hit, so Bergmans was lucky to get that nod. But the remaining two nominations are for important songs. Stephen BishopThe recording of “It Might Be You” is aspired to reach #25 on Billboard Hot 100. “How do you keep playing music?” never a big hit; a single version of James Ingram and Patti Austin, who sang it at the end of the credits, peaked at number 45 on the Hot 100. However, it has been covered by top vocalists like Tony Bennett, Free Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and Celine Dion. It’s not just about any other song from the 1980s, it seems destined to take a permanent place in the Great American Songbook.
The other two Best Original Song nominations that year were both #1 hits on the Hot 100. They were Survivor“Eye of the Tiger” by Rocky III (music and lyrics by Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan III) and Joe cocker and Jennifer Warner”Where we belong ” from An officer and a gentleman (music by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie; words of Will Jennings).
At the Academy Awards on April 11, 1983, Pavarotti did not perform the song in his film; Melissa Manchester, won a Grammy for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” fill in for him. And Survivor didn’t perform the song they made famous; in a move that still leaves Oscar fans scratching their heads, Temptations and actress Sandahl Bergman joined the pop/rock group. Three other songs were performed by the same artists who performed them on the soundtrack: Cocker & Warnes, Ingram & Austin and Bishop.
Olivia Newton-John awarded Best Original Song to “Up Where We Belong.”
In the nearly four decades since, four other musicians or songwriting groups have won three best song awards in the same year, but in each case, all the songs are from the same movie. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman were nominated for three songs from Beauty and the Beast (1991). Elton John and Tim Rice was nominated with three songs from Lion King (1994). Henry Krieger was nominated to compose (with different lyricists) three songs for Dream girls (In 2006). And Menken and Stephen Schwartz were nominated for three songs from Fascinating (2007).
In June 2008, the Academy changed its rules so that no more than two songs can be nominated from a film. That has made it more difficult for a musician to receive three Best Song nominations in one year, but not impossible. Bergmans proved it’s possible – very, very hard to do.
Alan Bergman, 96, and Marilyn Bergman twice won Best Original Song – for “The Windmills of Your Mind from Thomas Crown deal (1968) and “The Way We Were” from the Streisand /Robert Redford film of the same name (1973).
Bergmans accumulated 15 nominations in the category, more than any other group in Oscar history. Their other nominated songs include gems like “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?” “Pieces of a Dream” and “The Last Time I Felt Like This.”
Bergmans was introduced in Composers Hall of Fame in 1980. They received that organization’s top honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, in 1997. They received it. trust award from the Recording Academy in 2013.
https://www.billboard.com/music/awards/oscars-best-song-alan-marilyn-bergman-three-nominations-best-song-9521407/ Marilyn and Alan Bergman get 3 nods for Best Song for the first time – Billboard