Chanson du Jour: Theme from Midnight Cowboy

John Barry, who supervised the music and composed the score for Midnight Cowboy, won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme. Fred Neil’s song “Everybody’s Talkin'” won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Harry Nilsson.

Bob Dylan wrote “Lay Lady Lay” to serve as the theme song, but did not finish it in time.T he movie’s main theme, “Midnight Cowboy”, featured harmonica by Toots Thielemans.

Among the film soundtracks that Thielemans recorded are The Pawnbroker (1964), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Sugarland Express (1974) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). His harmonica theme song for the popular Sesame Street TV show was heard for 40 years.

“Toots” played in both Benny Goodman’s and Charlie Parker’s bands, and on recordings by Edith Piaf, Peggy Lee, and Billy Joel (“Leave a Tender Moment Alone”). He passed away in 2016.

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