'Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood' Honored at Guild of Music Supervisors Awards

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Andrew Cooper/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Regina Spektor's "One Little Soldier" from "Bombshell" was voted best song written and/or recorded for a film.

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood was among the top winners at the 10th Annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Thursday night (Feb. 6). The event celebrates achievements in the craft of music supervision in film, television, games, advertising and trailers.

Once Upon a Time… won best music supervision for a film budgeted over $25 million. In accepting the award, Mary Ramos thanked the film's director and her long-time collaborator Tarantino. Ramos was credited as music coordinator on the director's first two features and has served as music supervisor on each of his subsequent films.

"I met Quentin Tarantino 28 years ago," she said. "After that, I decided to change what I wanted to be when I grow up, and I'm really glad I did. It's been a really fun ride."

Ramos and Tarantino were Grammy-nominated last month for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, but lost to A Star Is Born. Once Upon a Time… is nominated for 10 Oscars on Sunday (Feb. 9), including three for Tarantino — best picture, best director and best original screenplay.

"One Little Soldier" from Bombshell was voted best song written and/or recorded for a film. Regina Spektor wrote and performed the song in the highly topical film about sexual harassment at Fox News. The song wasn't even shortlisted for an Academy Award for best original song. (The front-runner to win that award, Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from Rocketman, wasn't nominated for the GMS award.)

Burt Bacharach and Bob Hunka received special honors at the event, with Bacharach receiving the icon award and Hunka accepting the legacy award.

Bacharach performed what many consider to be his finest song, "Alfie," which he and Hal David co-wrote for the 1966 film of the same name. Bacharach recalled that the film's director, Lewis Gilbert, was lukewarm about the song, but Howard Koch, then Paramount Pictures' head of film production, "fought to keep it in."

Bacharach related a similar story about "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," the 1969 song that brought him his first Oscar. He and David wrote it for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Paul Newman/Robert Redford blockbuster. He said he later learned that half of the board members at 20th Century Fox, the studio that released the film, wanted the song cut from the film, but Dick Zanuck, the studio's president, "fought for me." The capper: "Robert Redford to this day doesn't like it."

Bacharach also made the night's most explicit political comment: "Get out and vote."

Emmylou Harris presented the legacy award to Hunka, a friend of 45 years. She also sang her 1978 song "My Songbird." Hunka's career spans managing a Symphony Orchestra (Edmonton), a mobile recording studio (Enactron), an independent record production company (Happy Sack Productions) and Dolly Parton’s music publishing company (Velvet Apple Music).

Hunka noted that he was the first recipient of the legacy award whose background was primarily in television music. The four previous recipients of the award were film music pros Chris Montan, Gary LeMel (who died just two years after he got the award), Becky Mancuso-Winding and Joel Sill.

Spektor performed "One Little Soldier," which went on to win the song award. Upon sitting down at the piano, she said with awe, "Burt Bacharach played this piano." She then performed the rhythmic, percussive piece, which, she said, is "so not a piano song."

The first performance of the night was indie pop duo Lola Marsh's gentle, unassuming version of Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra's 1967 smash "Something Stupid." They were heard performing the song, which won for best song written and/or recorded for television, in an episode of Better Call Saul.

Presenters included Kristen Chenoweth, Michael Bolton, Peter Gallagher and director Jay Roach, the director of Bombshell and three Austin Powers films in which Bacharach had cameos.

The Guild of Music Supervisors was founded in 2010. Its first awards were presented in a restaurant on the morning of the Grammy Awards. In 10 years, it has moved up to this venerable theater.

Here is the complete 2020 GMS Awards winners list.

Best music supervision for a film budgeted over $25 million: Mary Ramos - Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

Best music supervision for a film budgeted between $10 million and $25 million: Kier Lehman - Queen & Slim.

?Best music supervision for a film budgeted between $5 million and $10 million: Meghan Currier, Randall Poster – Waves.

?Best music supervision for a film budgeted under $5 million: Terri D’Ambrosio - The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

?Best song written and/or recorded for a film: “One Little Soldier” from Bombshell; Writer: Regina Spektor; Performed By: Regina Spektor; Music Supervisor: Evyen Klean.

Best music supervision - television drama: Adam Leber, Jen Malone - Euphoria - Season 1.

?Best music supervision - television comedy or musical: Robin Urdang - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season 2.

?Best music supervision - reality television: Jill Meyers - Songland - Season 1.

?Best music supervision - television movie: (Tie) Howard Paar - Native Son and Joe Rudge, Chris Swanson - The Dirt.

?Best song written and/or recorded for television: “Something Stupid” from Better Call Saul; Songwriter(s): C. Carson Parks; Artist: Lola Marsh; Program: Better Call Saul; Episode: #407 “Something Stupid”; Music Supervisor: Thomas Golubi?.

Best music supervision for a documentary: Tracy McKnight – Halston.

?Best music supervision in a docuseries: Rudy Chung, Jonathan Christiansen - Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.

Best music supervision in a trailer: Anny Colvin (Jax) - Joker Teaser. 

Best music supervision in advertising (sync): David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove - Apple iPhone “Color Flood.”

Best music supervision in advertising (original music): David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove - Apple Watch “Hokey Pokey.”

?Best music supervision in a video game: Cybele Pettus, Raphaella Lima - FIFA 20.