With 11 Academy Award nominations, The Aviator is being hailed as one of director Martin Scorcese's greatest cinematic triumphs. The film may earn Scorcese his first-ever Oscar for directing, as well as a Best Actor award for Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrays the eccentric aviation pioneer Howard Hughes. Oscar accolades aside, another key to the film's success is its soundtrack.
As if serving as the film's director and executive producer were not enough, Martin Scorcese also co-produced The Aviator soundtrack. It features some of the swing era's finest music, including "Back Beat Boogie" by Harry James and His Orchestra. The music is crucial to the chronological telling of Hughes' fascinating and sometimes disturbing life during his years as a big-budget Hollywood film producer, businessman and aviator between 1927 and 1946.
Indiana's famed vocal quartet, The Ink Spots, were all the rage during Howard Hughes' heyday, singing "Do I Worry," first in the 1942 film Pardon My Sarong, and again on the Aviator soundtrack.
The year was 1939. The average price of a new car was $750; Gone With The Wind won the Academy Award for Best Picture; Howard Hughes bought Trans-World Airlines; and The Glenn Miller Orchestra recorded its popular theme song, "Moonlight Serenade."
Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade" has been used in many movies over the years, most recently in Martin Scorcese's The Aviator.
Also featured on the soundtrack are original recordings by Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Django Rheinhardt, Leadbelly, and The Original Memphis Five.
The collection also includes new swing recordings by The Manhattan Rhythm Kings; Loudon, Rufus and Martha Wainwright; David Johansen; and Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra, performing "Shake That Thing."