Glenn here bringing you some more trivia from this year’s best original song category. Obviously, I could be mistaken about some of these, but, well, in which case la la la, not listening, move along.
Trivia #1 – 2016 marks the first time in Oscar history that two documentaries have ever been nominated in a category outside of the non-fiction categories. While documentaries have been nominated in the original song category in the past – Mondo Cane in ’62 being the first, I believe – and Hoop Dreams scored a best editing nomination in 1995, this year both The Hunting Ground’s “Til It Happens to You” and Racing Extinction’s “Manta Ray” make for a first that two have been cited.
Trivia #2 – This year’s nomination for “Manta Ray” is the third nomination for an enviro-doc in this category in the last decade. While Melissa Etheridge’s “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth was a guaranteed nominee and winner (albeit, not a particularly good one), both Racing Extinction this year and Chasing Ice in 2013 were completely unexpected (and both written by J. Ralph). Are the music branch the most environmentally conscious voters in the Academy? Were they secretly hoping The Cove had a Bono theme song they could have nominated? Because they love him, too.
Trivia #3 - Lady Gaga is the fourth Oscar nominee(/winner) to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl following Diana Ross in 1982, Cher in 1999 and Jennifer Hudson in 2002. Gaga is, however, the first to do so in the same year as her nomination. Good work on whoever it was in her management that got "Academy Award nominee" listed before "Six-time Grammy winner" in her SB50 performance earlier this week.
Trivia #4 - Diane Warren and J. Ralph are the only nominees not on their first nomination. Warren now has eight nominations to Ralph's two. Ralph is a documentary good luck charm lately, however, with an additional five best documentary nominees to his credit (including Man on Wire and The Cove, which won).
Trivia #5 - David Lang, nominated for "Simple Song #3", could become only the third Oscar winning composer in history to have won a Pulitzer Prize prior to his Oscar. He received the Pulitzer in 2008 for his composition "The Little Match Girl Passion". The first was Richard Rodgers* and the second was Stephen Sondheim**. Several other Oscar winning composers including Marvin Hamlisch (best original song, score, and adapted song score for The Way We Were and The Sting respectively), John Corigliano (best original score, The Red Violin) and Bob Dylan (best original song, The Wonder Boys) did, however, win a Pulitzer Prize after their Oscar.
*Rodgers won a special Pulitzer for "Oklahoma!", but won his official Pulitzer Drama Prize in 1950 after he won an Oscar for State Fair's "It Might As Well Be Spring"
**Sondheim's Pulitzer for Sunday in the Park with George is curiously in "Drama" rather than "Music", He later won the Oscar for Dick Tracy's "Sooner or Later"
Any more notes of trivia we should know about?