Playbill Poll: If They Gave a 'Best Song' Tony...

Tony Awards   Playbill Poll: If They Gave a 'Best Song' Tony...
 
In response to a STAGESTRUCK column by Peter Filichia, Playbill On-Line asked readers to comment on Filichia's suggestions, and to propose nominees for a hypothetical Tony Award for Best Song -- both for the 1998 awards, and for the category back to 1947 when the Tony's were inaugurated.

In response to a STAGESTRUCK column by Peter Filichia, Playbill On-Line asked readers to comment on Filichia's suggestions, and to propose nominees for a hypothetical Tony Award for Best Song -- both for the 1998 awards, and for the category back to 1947 when the Tony's were inaugurated.

Here are all the responses we were able to post before the Tony ceremony. Playbill On-Line thanks all those who took the time to write:

From P Phatsaphaphone:
It has to be Wheels of a Dream from Ragtime. It is the anthem we all have been waiting for. I have heard this song at least a thousand times (I am not joking) and still get chills. Just an utterly breathtaking song!


From Craig:
I enjoyed your column with best song nominations, but I think you missed a few (there are others that I know belong on the list but couldn't remember myself). Here are some of my suggestions:
78-79 season: Not While I'm Around, from Sweeney Todd
81-82 season: Be Italian, and Phone Call to the Vatican from Nine
90-91 season: I'd Give My Life for You from Miss Saigon
Others: Easy Street from Annie, Empty Chairs from Les Mis, and the first ballad "Easy..." from Blood Brothers (sorry, I'm drawing a blank!) Looking forward to the Tony Awards (as always)!


From Treyteachr:
I can't think of a more emotional or well-sung song than "Who Will Love Me As I Am?". Side Show had the best songs of the season, and yes I saw all the other nominated shows so I know where of I speak.


From John Esche:
Peter's few omissions:
1947-48 "I Still Get Jealous" (HIGH BUTTON SHOES)
...over "Papa, Won't You Dance With Me"??? Surely you jest! And then only if "No Other Love" (ALLEGRO) was disqualified because the melody wasn't originally written for the stage!
My personal sentimental favorite, "Fill 'Er Up" (BONANZA BOUND) obviously falls since the show didn't make it past its Philadelphia tryout the week before I was born 30 miles south of there. grin
'57-'58 "Tonight" wins hands down over "76 Trombones" *despite* the show falling to its more "up" competition, based solely on the number of cover recordings in the stores then and now!
'60-'61 I have no argument with your choices, but *couldn't* we throw an "honorable mention" to "Never Trust A Virgin" (HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD)? E.Y.H. at his most sublime! grin
'84-'85 - BIG RIVER? No, but this is where GRIND and QUILTERS should shine!
'88-'89 - OK, IGNORE the fact that some of us *loved* STARMITES and "Hard To Be A Diva" got recorded; WELCOME TO THE CLUB couldn't manage an album, but it might have with the Tony it WOULD have won for one of its terrific songs...say, "In The Name of Love"!


From Actress99:
You left out A LOT of Sondheim--Not A Day Goes By from Merrily We Roll Along for example or Sunday from Sunday int eh Park with George or Comedy Tonight from A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum...well you get the point. other than that interesting picks!!


From ARReith:
If they did give a Best Song Tony - for this year, I'd like the Nominees to be: Falcon in the Dive (Pimpernel) Wheels of a Dream (Ragtime) I Love Paris (High Society) and Circle of Life (Lion King). Why those choices? Because those are obviously the BESTEST (yes, that's not a word!!) songs on B'Way for this season......and the winner, I'd say would have to be.......Falcon in the Dive! Because Terry Mann is undeniably fabulous in the song.....and he can make an emotional person cry. (not me - but he's close!).
But overall, I agree with Peter's choices for the Best Songs from the past, except PLEASE include "We Both Reached for the Gun" (Chicago) and put it in there (1976) - the version in the revival is great, and I've only heard tiny clips - and I keep rewinding the tape to hear Karen, Ann, James and Hinton and the EXCELLENT ensemble! But I did hear the WHOLE thing with James and Marilu! grin


From suellen vance (svance@rslmgmt.com):
My pick for this year would be "Into the Fire" - it's uplifting and inspirational and fun all at the same time. Frankly, I like the idea behind the song of someone taking a stand to make the world a better place in the face of possible dire consequences. Classic underdog stuff!


From William Allen Finley:
I would have to say that for the '74-'75 season, I would want to see "Time Heals Everything" being the nominated song from "Mack and Mabel".


From Swn6500:
Back to Before (from RAGTIME).


From DUNKN:
I was wondering why in 84-85..you didn't pick anything from Big River..I mean those song are all so wonderful..I would say.."River in the Rain" "Free at Last".." Muddy Water" "Worlds Apart"..are all great songs!..okay..I've said my piece..=)


From Drummond, Jason:
How could you possibly leave The Life out of Best Song consideration? What about "My Friend", "My Body", "He's No Good", "Use What You've Got", or even "The Oldest Profession." Come on, the show's closing, can't we finally give it some of the respect it deserves?


From Roland Castillo:
Yes, the 1988-89 season was awful, but it would have made it easier to give the "Best Song" award to the one that truly deserved it: "When There's No One" from Carrie.


From Lynn Fuller (LFuller981@aol.com):
What about "Heaven Help My Heart" from Chess ? And "I Know Him So Well" ? Also, "Shadowland" from The Lion King, and "Easy Money" from The Life are GREAT. And "All I Ask of You" and "The Phantom of the Opera" (what a thrilling, goosebump inducing song !) from The Phantom of the Opera. "The Movie In My Mind" from Miss Saigon was gorgeous and affecting. The list is endless, but I'll stop here.


From MsWittiR:
The only song I can think of that I would consider "egregiously overlooked" is "Moonfall" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood - a superb and haunting example of a song from a season that WASN'T...


From leib:
Isn't it unbelievable? You think of all the beautiful songs of the shows of the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's. And the last 10-15 years - nothing - crap. Why are there no songwriters anymore? Maybe Playbill should start a talent hunt throughout America with big prizes for people who can SONGS, for goodness sake.


From Phantomcpa:
How could you leave out the best song of this year? "Into the Fire" from the "Scarlet Pimpernel" is better than anything else this year.


From Richie Schwartz:
"Into the Fire" from Scarlet Pimpernel is the song of the year. Even Peter Filichia wrote that in another article he wrote several months ago. It is an anthem and it happens to be a great song as well. Should not be overlooked.


From DrEvil348:
This year has many great songs from all the nominated musicals. If I had to pick four they would be; Back to Before from Ragtime, Who Will Love Me As I Am" from Side Show, Wheels of a Dream from Ragtime, Endless Night from the Lion King. Others not mentioned: Circle of Life from the Lion King, Ragtime from Ragtime, Our Children from Ragtime, Say Goodbye to the Freak Show from Side Show, I Will Never Leave You from Side Show. Also I was surprised that Into the Woods was not mentioned in 1988 with No One Is Alone, and also that Race You to the Top of the Morning was chosen for the Secret Garden. Why not Hold On, or Lily's Eyes, or even How Could I Ever Know.


From Dan Orozco:
What about "When I first saw you"? from Dreamgirls?!!


From Mark Halpin:
i would disagree with mr filicia for this year's winner: wheels of a dream is too generic. i think it should go to "we can never go back to before", a perfect performance of a perfect song. other nominees? they live in you, hakuna matata, and make them hear you.


From Liz David:
If I had to award a Tony for best song, there would be a multiple tie for EVERY song in Ragtime. Each one is wonderful in it's own special way and each one deserves top honors.


From Amy Klusmeier:
"Wheels of a Dream" would certainly take the prize this year. The Side Show anthems are beautifully sung, but "Wheels of a Dream" has a power that is unmatched this year!


From Martha Boston:
I was happy to see a song from Rags receive a hypothetical nomination for the 86-87 season, however I would have nominated the beautiful duet "Wanting" - a truly glorious song!


From Kim Gessner:
"Back to Before" from RAGTIME.


From Ann Mahoney:
While I agree that "Seasons of Love" would've won this category in '95-'96, I doubt that "Santa Fe" would've been the other nominee from RENT. Instead, I think it would've been "I'll Cover You." Okay, so it has a few silly lyrics, but what love song doesn't? It's still a powerful and touching song nonetheless.


From Rosenthal_S:
Gee, this is fun.
Disagreements:
1947-48-Allegro was not a success, but it won Donaldsons for Best Book and Score. "The Gentleman is a Dope" would have taken it.
1970-71 How could anyone not vote for "Being Alive" as Best Song
1971-72 "Losing My Mind" would have won. Just judging from the album it stays with you a lot longer than "Broadway Baby"
1973-74-"Nobody Does it Like Me" would have been the winning song from "Seesaw"
1978-79 "A Little Priest" would have snuck in there.
1987-88-"No One Is Alone" from "Into the Woods" would have been nominated. After all, "Into the Woods" won Best Score.
1992-93-"Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Day After That" from "Kiss of the Spider Woman" with a nod to the former. (My Favorite Year?-yuck!)
However, this years award should go to the composers of Ragtime (I now forgive them for wasting my money on My Favorite Year). "Wheels of a Dream" is amazing.


From Randy Detwiler (randet19@idt.net):
I can't believe that Peter would forget about the songs from INTO THE WOODS for the 1987-88 season. I mean, it did win the Tony award for best score that year over PHANTOM. I would have included "No More", "Children Will Listen" and "Agony" for that particular year.


From Jeff Bowen:
Following your rules and standards for the "Best Song" category, I'd have to add:
"Windflowers" or "Lazy Afternoon" from The Golden Apple
"Simple Little Things" from 110 in the Shade
"My Gentle Young Johnny" from Tenderloin
"I Wish it So" from Juno
"Far From the Home I Love" from Fiddler on the Roof
"When Did I Fall in Love?" from Fiorello!
"I Never Has Seen Snow" or "A Sleepin' Bee" from House of Flowers
"Walk Away" from How Now Dow Jones
"Long Past Sunset" from The Human Comedy
"I Believe My Own Eyes" from The Who's Tommy
"With So Little to Be Sure of" from Anyone Can Whistle
"He's Good For Me" from Seesaw
"Lonesome of the Road" from Runaways
"Good Ol' Girl" from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
"Simple" from Nine
"All Things to One Man" from Grind


From DanD2375 (DanD2375@aol.com):
I believe "Hard Candy Christmas" and "24 hours of Lovin'" from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas would have been in there too.. Not to mention "The Oldest Profession" from "The Life", "Everybody's Girl" from Steel Pier, "Momma Look Sharp" from the original "1776, and probably the most notable neglected.. "Bui Doi" from "Miss Saigon."


From Marcia Rovins:
When you talk about a "liftable pop song," how can you possibly have your 1967-68 winner be "My Own Morning" (which I never even heard of) when "I've Gotta Be Me" as turned into a standard?


From Galka, Christopher S.:
I totally agree with almost all your choices. (Especially "Pretty Women", "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going," and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina".) The only changes I'd make are as follows: "Getting TO KNow You" would have definitely lost to "Something Wonderful"-- it's simply one of the most beautiful marriages of words and lyrics O&H ever wrote. "Tell Me it's Not True" would have whooped "My Favorite Year", which I think very few people even remember, and certainly the ubiquitous "Love Changes Everything" would have blown away any competition, especially "With Every Breath I Take," which was the most boring number in City of Angels. (I prefer "You Can Always Count On Me" for sheer comedic effect.) And this year's winner would absolutely have to be "Who Will Love Me As I Am?" A beautiful, haunting end to Act I of Side Show. Bye the way, I'm rooting for the girls to win Best Actress on Sunday night!


From Waygreg:
I was thrilled to see The Secret Garden mentioned, but "Race You To The Top Of The Morning"???? I certainly wouldn't have chosen that song - how about Lily's Eyes? Come To My Garden? Hold On? How Could I Ever Know?


From rcroson:
I think "Only Love" or "When I look at You" for love songs from Pimpernel. I absolutely love "Into the Fire" I feel energized every time I hear it. These are my suggestions.


From Denis Riker:
"Serenity" (Triumph of Love)


From John Knapp:
Big mistake in the 90-91 season... it would have been a dead heat between "Human Heart" (Once on this Island) and "Hold On" (Secret Garden). "Human Heart" would win out by a nose.


From Bob Drucker:
How could they leave out the best song of this season "Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel?


From Keit (Also known as Phantom):
I have been wondering the same thing for years! Why not a Best Song category?? I mean it is classic music and the songs in shows that will never be forgotten should receive recognition, not just for their musical scores, but also for their songs!
Here are a list of my favorites:
1979 80: "The waltz between Eva and Che" (Evita)
1981-82: "Any Dream Will Do" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
1987-88: Both great choices from The Phantom of the Opera, but also "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" and "Point of No Return"
1995-96: Also from Sunset Boulevard, "The Perfect Year"
1996-97: Jekyll & Hyde: "This is the Moment" and "Someone Like You"
You made great selections, and thanks for agreeing that there should be a Best Song category at the Tony's.


From Keit (Also known as Phantom):
I have been wondering the same thing for years! Why not a Best Song category?? I mean it is classic music and the songs in shows that will never be forgotten should receive recognition, not just for their musical scores, but also for their songs!
Here are a list of my favorites:
1979 80: "The waltz between Eva and Che" (Evita)
1981-82: "Any Dream Will Do" (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
1987-88: Both great choices from The Phantom of the Opera, but also "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" and "Point of No Return"
1995-96: Also from Sunset Boulevard, "The Perfect Year"
1996-97: Jekyll & Hyde: "This is the Moment" and "Someone Like You"
You made great selections, and thanks for agreeing that there should be a Best Song category at the Tony's.


From DDayan:
I think Peter Filichia's suggestion of a "Best Song" category in the Tonys is great. However, I have to disagree with him about "Once in Love with Amy" in 1948-49. I do feel that "Always True to You In My Fashion" (a song which can be pulled out of "Kiss Me Kate") would have won that year. Likewise would "Wunderbar."


From Charlie Monnot:
For me the best song of the season (even though I live in Oklahoma and have not seen one show, but from listening to what I can) I think "Shadowland" [in Lion King) is the most exciting. After seeing it on letterman, I could not get it out of my head. I listen to that song over and over again. It is incredible.


From Galka, Christopher S.:
I forgot one: "With One Look" would have competed against "As If We Never Said Goodbye," in 1995. Glenn Close would have performed "AIWNSG" as she did on the actual telecast; the Tony Committee would have extended an invitation to La LuPone to sing "WOL"--which she does beautifully--but she of course would have declined (unless she was allowed to drown "Sir" Lloyd-Webber in her swimming pool during the telecast). So, "WOL" would have been performed by Betty Buckley, flown in fresh from her triumph as Norma in London, and "With One Look" would have won.


From Harry Bleattler:
How on earth could anyone overlook "Johanna" from Sweeny Todd. I would have chosen both "Pretty Women" and "Johanna."


From Logan, Shawn Tracy:
I will comment only on what I think the category would be like this year. LION KING provides real problems, because even "They Live in You" was on the Pridelands CD (and I don't think the show was intended for Bway yet.) So my picks for the nominees are:
"Endless Night"--The Lion King "Wheels of A Dream"- Ragtime "Back to Before"--Ragtime "I Will Never Leave You"--Side Show
AND if in some way a fifth nominee could slip in it should go to "She Was There"--The Scarlet Pimpernel
There are also several other worthy runners up: "Only Love" from Pimpernel; "Who Will Love Me As I Am" from Side Show "Serenity" from Triumph of Love; and if big choral numbers could be included then most definitely "New Music" from Ragtime should replace Endless Night Above. This would be a very hard category to pick. THey should definitely add it.


From DDayan:
I think Peter Filichia's suggestion of a "Best Song" category in the Tonys is great. However, I have to disagree with him about "Once in Love with Amy" in 1948-49. I do feel that "Always True to You In My Fashion" (a song which can be pulled out of "Kiss Me Kate") would have won that year. Likewise would "Wunderbar."


From Lee Ann Holly (laholly@yahoo.com):
How about 'Anthem' from "Chess"?? and 'Children will listen' from "Into the woods"??


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