10 Classic Movie Songs

Wednesday, January 19 by Nicki Porter

These 10 classic movie songs are well-known favorites that were all either Best Original Song Academy Award winners or nominees. Truly great movies need a great score, and Hollywood brought forth the best classic composers to write for their pictures. The result was some of the finest songwriting in decades.

  1. "Cheek to Cheek." Fred Astaire charmed in this Irving Berlin ballroom classic. Ginger Rogers and Astaire whirled their way through "Cheek to Cheek" in the 1935 movie "Top Hat."    
  2. "The Way You Look Tonight" Still a favorite of jazz halls and swing concerts, this number originally was featured in the Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire film "Swing Time." The song emerged victorious from the battle of the Best Original Song nominees at the Third Annual Academy Awards in 1936.  
  3. "I've Got You Under My Skin." Cole Porter penned this number for the 1936 film "Born to Dance." The film starred Eleanor Powell and James Stewart in one of his rare singing and dancing roles.    
  4. "Over the Rainbow." 1939's "Wizard of Oz" contained many fan favorites like "We're Off to See the Wizard" and "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead," but it was "Over the Rainbow" that took home the Academy Award for Best Song. Incredible vocals by Judy Garland help make this ballad one of the most beloved classic movie songs of all time.    
  5. "When You Wish Upon a Star." Disney's animated films have won a string of Best Original Song Oscars, but 1940's "Pinocchio" brought him his first. The song remains one of Disney's most-recognized songs to date.    
  6. "White Christmas."  The first of many Christmas songs on this list, Irving Berlin struck gold with "White Christmas" in 1942. Unbeknownst to many, the song was initially written for the Bing Crosby movie "Holiday Inn," not 1954's "White Christmas."    
  7. "Baby, It's Cold Outside." This classic holiday duet remains a perennial fan favorite, even today. Frank Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for the 1949 film "Neptune's Daughter."    
  8. "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Marking the third hit on this list for composer Irving Berlin, this evergreen holiday number was performed in  1954's "White Christmas."
  9. "Moon River."  Harry Mancini was one of the best-known composers of the 60's, and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was one of his best-known movies. "Moon River" was Mancini's first Oscar win.  
  10. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." Rounding out the list is the signature song from 1969's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." The cheerful "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" went on to win the Best Original Song Academy Award.