(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Actor, singer, dancer and Golden Globe-winner John Travolta ("Grease," "Saturday Night Fever," "Pulp Fiction") will host AFI'S 100 Years … 100 Songs: America's Greatest Music in the Movies, a new entertainment special saluting the greatest songs in American movies, to be broadcast on June 22 (8-11 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS TV Network. During the broadcast, the confidential list of 100 songs will be revealed by some of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Those scheduled to be interviewed for the special include Clay Aiken, Debbie Allen, Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Peter Boyle, Keith Carradine, Cyd Charisse, Betty Comden, Bill Conti, Celine Dion, Michael Feinstein, Art Garfunkel, Barry Gibb, Marvin Hamlisch, Isaac Hayes, Angela Lansbury, Baz Luhrmann, Brian McKnight, Rob Marshall, Bill Medley, Rita Moreno, Rosie Perez, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Warrens, Andy Williams and Hans Zimmer.
This will be the seventh annual special in the AFI's centennial celebration of American cinema, following the six critically acclaimed Network specials "AFI's 100 Year … 100 Movies," "AFI's 100 Years … 100 Stars," "AFI's 100 Years … 100 Laughs," "AFI's 100 Years … 100 Thrills," "AFI's 100 Years … 100 Passions" and "AFI's 100 Years … 100 Heroes & Villains," which annually spark a national discussion of America's film history among movie-lovers across the nation.
In 2003, AFI distributed a ballot with the names of 400 nominated songs to a jury of 1,500 leaders in the film community, including film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, composers, cinematographers, etc.), critics and historians. The jury was asked to choose up to 100 songs from the list, which includes "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "Take My Breath Away," "As Time Goes By," "The Way We Were," "Stayin' Alive," "Singin' in the Rain," "Say A Little Prayer," "Moon River," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "That's Entertainment," "It Had To Be You" and "Lose Yourself." Due to the extensive number of songs in American film, jurors could also write in votes for up to five songs, which may not already appear on the ballot.
The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria while making their selections:
— Song: Music and lyrics featured in an American film that set a tone of mood, define character, advance plot and/or express the film's themes in a manner that elevates the moving image art form. Songs may have been written and/or recorded specifically for the film or previously written and/or recorded and selected by the filmmaker to achieve the above goals;
— Cultural Impact: Songs that have captured the nation's heart, echoed
beyond the walls of a movie theater and, ultimately, stand in our
collective memory for the film itself; and
— Legacy: Songs that resonate across the century, enriching America's
film heritage and captivating artists and audiences today.
The ballot included songs by Al Jolson ("The Jazz Singer," 1927) to Eminem ("8 Mile," 2002) and ranged alphabetically from Aba Daba Honeymoon ("Two Weeks with Love," 1950) to Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah ("Song of the South," 1947). Bing Crosby topped the list as the most represented performer with 12 nominated songs, and Judy Garland was the most represented female performer with nine songs. The 1950s was the most represented decade with 67 nominees.
Multi-Emmy Award-winner Gary Smith is the executive producer and director of the show. Former AFI Board Chair Frederick S. Pierce is the executive producer for AFI. Dann Netter ("The 2002 Emmy Awards") and Bob Gazzale ("AFI Life Achievement Award, A Tribute to Robert De Niro") are the producers. SFM Entertainment LLC is the distributor of the program. Among the sponsors of the series are Pepsi, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Best Buy, Napster, Anheuser-Busch, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Gillette and Colgate-Palmolive. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen