musicology #342


AlternativeSoundtrack4 #9

(The Coasters – Snake and The Bookworm)

Not even half way through the film yet so looks like themusicologist is in for the long haul. I promised myself after the 12AngryMen alternativesoundtrack that I would relax the rule of only throwing down music from the year the film was released but on reflection feel that the harmonies involved are too compelling so as a compromise for The Hustler I’m restricting the music to the year the film was released, (1961), and the year preceeding it…1960.

Today’s piece of dialogue features Eddie and Sarah after having spent the last few days together. Not sure whether our man has been hustling during this time but if he has there’s no mention of it. Maybe they have found what they have both been looking for…someone to share a life with? that’s the way I’m reading it anyway.

The music is a piece of ‘Rock and Roll’ from one of the great vocal groups The Coasters, (this line up features Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Cornell Gunter, Will “Dub” Jones and Albert “Sonny” Forriest), whose star, along with Rock and Roll’s was beginning to fade. Soul was stepping up to take it’s place because Rock and Roll was considered to have corrupted the nation’s youth !! but music is too powerful to control and what seemed at the time to be a more soothing sound was beginning to capture the attention of ‘the new breed’ who would take it on and use it to communicate a more powerful, (and popular), message of freedom and equality.

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One thought on “musicology #342

  1. “throwing down music from the year the film was released” was always a musical/intellectual conundrum in my opinion. Films take longer to produce than records. From conception to release film-makers talk in long months, sometimes years. For record producers…. days (especially at the birth of “popular” music). Back then, by the time a film was released music had moved on…. and how!!

    That’s what knocks me out about AlternativeSoundTracks.

    On this one I listen to Jimmy Smith and I’m transported back to the (wordless) trios and quartets of the jazz inspired smokey/cooking basements and cellars of the late fifties. Then Sam Cooke’s sublime voice on Cupid perfectly catches the bright/optimistic (and very verbal) mood of the “kids” jiving in the dance-halls of the early sixties!!!
    And all that “musical action” while The Hustler went from story board to the can….. NICE.

    As for Snake And The Bookworm (or anything The Coasters)…. There’s always the exception to the rule…. QUALITY RULES.

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