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News |  15 Jun 2022 15:17 |  By RnMTeam

From Jazz icon John Coltran to pop star Ariana Grande to Mumbai-based A cappella group 'The Aflatunes,' musicians can't get enough of the Rodgers and Hammerstein score

MUMBAI: Over 57 years since its release in 1965, ‘The Sound of Music’ and its musical notes still linger in the memories of legions of fans. The Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer superhit revolving around the von Trapp family boasts one of the most successful musical scores of all time and its resonance across time remains unmatched. The musical continues to inspire musicians across genres and epochs and the latest example is 'The Aflatunes,' a Mumbai-based A cappella group which has joined hands with Zee Theatre to celebrate the release of 'The Sound of Music Live’ for the first time on Indian Television. In a remarkable video tribute, 'The Aflatunes,' performed memorable songs like ‘My Favorite Things’ and ‘Sixteen going on Seventeen’ without using a single instrument.

Here is a look back at some more memorable tributes to the unwavering magic of 'The Sound of Music'.

1. Ariana Grande- '7 rings': One of the most famous songs from the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score in 'The Sound of Music' is 'My Favorite Things' which celebrates simple joys like "raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens". In 2019, American pop idol Ariana Grande tweaked the lyrics of the classic in her hit song ‘7 rings’ where she celebrated the fact that she could 'buy' all her favourite things. The 'I want it, I got it" tenor runs through the song as she rejoices in the power of saying,"Put it in the bag", if something, no matter how expensive catches her eye. This song from her fifth studio album, ‘Thank U, Next’ showed that her aspirations may be different from those of Maria, but 'The Sound of Music' continues to inspire her musical journey.

2. Gwen Stefani- 'Wind It Up': Pop and R&B superstar Gwen once admitted that 'The Sound of Music' was her favourite film and asked DJ Jeremy Healy to create a mashup of the song 'The Lonely Goatherd' to include in her own song 'Wind It Up.' She had always wanted to include some bits from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in her songs and her second solo album 'The Sweet Escape' in 2006, seemed to offer a perfect opportunity. After DJ Jeremy Healy finished the mash up of 'The Lonely Goatherd' and 'Wind It Up,' Gwen famously said, "I literally cried, and I'm not exaggerating!" She even went one step further by dressing up as Maria in the video of the song while the accompanying dancers dressed as the von Trapp kids. Gwen of course gave due credit to Rodgers and Hammerstein for her quirky yet nostalgic tribute.

3. Christina Aguilera- 'Searching for Maria': In her superhit, 2018 album 'Liberation,' American pop, and R&B star Christina Aguilera paid a tribute to Maria, the feisty protagonist of 'The Sound of Music' by including these lyrics, "How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria?" as a prelude and also wrote and sung a song called, 'Maria' which hinted at the loss of innocence and the search for true authenticity and peace. In a 2018 tweet, she wrote, "Searching For Maria' is a reference to one of my favorite films, 'The Sound of Music' - in which the character of Maria, an irrepressible free spirit, struggles to find herself & her freedom."

4. John Coltrane- 'My Favourite Things': In the 60s, Jazz legend John Coltrane released a highly successful album called 'My Favourite Things' which in 1998, won the Grammy Hall of Fame award. Coltrane may have created more critically acclaimed works but this one is often described as a "definitive work that everyone knows, and anyone can listen to." This is not to say that this is a simplistic tribute and in fact perfectly showcases Coltrane's genius for experimentation in just over 14 minutes. The hypnotic composition by the gifted Saxophonist recalled the intricacy of India ragas and went on to become Coltrane’s most requested tune.

5. JLS- 'The Club Is Alive': Rodgers and Hammerstein would not have imagined that in 2010, their seminal hit, 'The Hills Are Alive' would be transported to a club! That is exactly what happened when English boy band JLS, in a modern twist on 'The Sound of Music's famous melody penned a song called, “The Club is Alive.” The peppy lyrics described the vibrance and energy of a club but still adhered to the famous hook of the classic song where Maria swirls memorably in the alps to celebrate her joy for life and music. Just goes to show that the original, written by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1959, and sung by Julie Andrews in the Oscar-winning 1965 film is timeless.

6. Outkast- 'My Favourite Things': Outkast, one of the most influential Hip-Hop duos consisting of Atlanta-based rappers "Big Boi" Patton and André "3000" Benjamin were known to experiment with genres such as funk, psychedelia, jazz, and techno but also revisited 'My Favourite Things' in 2003. The only difference was that their favourite things were diamonds and rubies, Bentleys, Gucci dresses and drop-top compresses! And they added to good effect, "Wine me and dine me. Bring those platinum rings. Those are a few of our favourite things!" The zesty version appeared on the duo’s 2003 album, 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below' and brought an electronic edge to the 1965 version.

7. Panic! At the Disco- 'Build God, Then We’ll Talk': Panic! At the Disco is the solo project of musician Brendon Urie and was originally a pop rock band. In 2005, the band released an album 'A Fever You Can't Sweat Out' and the single 'Build God, Then We'll Talk' was their fifth and final official single. The song borrowed from the melody of the chorus of 'My Favorite Things' and also included a fleeting reference to raindrops on roses though its lyrics were much darker and full of cynicism about relationships and the emptiness of modern existence.