that thing you do theme song

There is some kind of weird relationship there, I guess. I had just gotten my first publishing deal around that time. I wasn’t a part of those negotiations for credits on his side. 41 on the Billboard Top 100 and No. What’s more, it earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, and has been covered by everyone from ‘NSYNC to New Found Glory. With this particular assignment, it was an era that I was already familiar with and loved. Written by Adam Schlesinger, the song is performed by the fictional 1960s band The Wonders, who are the focus of the film. But we’ve gotten older, and he’s since come to have a very different attitude.

But the Beatles were definitely my first real love, and all I listened to in my formative years. The Monkees are as much of a real band as many of the bands I’ve worked with, you know? What did you think when you first saw the finished film? They mentioned the Knickerbockers as one example. There was some controversy about how Mike Viola was credited—he was listed as “Additional Vocals” under “First Aid” and “Catering” and “Animals Supplied” credits. There was even that big choreographed “That Thing You Do” production number during the ceremony. Who would win in a battle of the bands: the Wonders or the Monkees? Was there a moment you realized the song had a life of its own?

In general, I like having songwriting assignments and I like having deadlines.

It’s a way of constantly proving to yourself that you can get something done in the short amount of time that you have to. Like a PG-rated Behind the Music, the group ultimately splinters under the pressures of fame, ego, jealousy, and quickie Reno weddings, but they leave behind the legacy of the movie’s titular song—a sparkling pop gem that set the charts on fire in the summer of 1964. Why did Mike Viola sing the lead on the track instead of you? That’s pretty incredible. It started to get uncomfortable after a while. What kind of music did you grow up listening to? We were young guys in our twenties and he had the initial thought of “I don’t want to be known for this, I want to be known for my own music.

They were looking for a song and said I should take a shot at it. You were nominated for an Academy Award. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1997.

The story follows the rise of the Wonders, a small time band from Erie, Pennsylvania, who are launched to superstardom after winning a local talent contest. I’ve stayed friends with [producer] Gary Goetzman and all the people in the Playtone label. That Thing You Do!’s success hinged on that song—something peppy, something snappy, something that unrepentantly evoked the optimism of an age. [Laughs] Well, the Wonders really are a non-existent band, so I think that the Monkees would win. I just took it as an assignment and decided it was worth spending a couple of days on for a shot at something like this.

They listened to classical music and jazz. It’s either in your personal Top 10 list, or you’ve never seen it. Let’s start at the beginning: how did you first hear about the movie? The description was that it was supposed to be an American band in 1964 that was blown away by the Beatles and was imitating them. I approach these things the same way: I just try to make good-sounding records and write good songs. - Original Soundtrack on AllMusic - 1996 - This is the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks-written… That Thing You Do! I didn’t really anticipate any of this, and that was the culmination.

Yeah, once they settled on it, I spoke to him many times. He’s just a much better singer than me. I don’t really obsess too much about the degree of realness.

"That Thing You Do" is the titular song appearing in the 1996 film of the same name. There wasn’t one particular moment. How did they describe the kind of song they were looking for?

Do you listen to a stack of ’60s songs to get in the mood? So I focused on that one. Kimberly Butler/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty. I went to the set. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for That Thing You Do!

Every couple years I’ll drop by their office and sometimes Tom’s just hanging out. You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications. Nothing says a family vacation like an RV, Princess Diana died when Harry was just 12 years old, It's looked — and felt — like a whole different world as we've been social distancing and attempting to keep each other safe, Naya Rivera's Sister Lives with Ryan Dorsey to Care for Josey: 'Nothing Romantic Is Going on', Author Rachel Hollis on Writing Book About Navigating Hardship When Her 16-Year Marriage Ended, Kelly Ripa's Quarantine Routine Has Husband Mark Consuelos Saying She Looks 'So Healthy', See All the Celebs Taking RV Trips This Summer, The Sweetest Photos of Princes Harry with Diana, From Empty Streets to Virtual Weddings: What Life Has Looked Like During the Coronavirus Pandemic. As I recall, I wrote three different versions of this song. Like, oh my God, enough of this song! I’ll help you out but I want to be anonymous.” And then as it started to develop he started to have second thoughts about it. In a stellar example of art mimicking life, the young songwriter’s track became a hit in its own right when it was issued in the fall of 1996, rising to No. Some of them are genres that I don’t really know anything about, so I have to do a lot of research to get up to speed on the genre itself so I can do some kind of version of it. I never really thought about it.

Oh yeah! The tunes and performances perfectly evoke that cusp of time in rock history when one era was ending and another was beginning, while the production values are retro and yet modern, clean, and sharp. We had a piano in our house growing up, so I played piano and as I got older I discovered more things and my taste broadened a lot. They all write and they all play. And then as I got older I started discovering there were other bands in the world. As a kid I was a just Beatles fanatic for a long time. I didn’t really listen to anything else except the Beatles when I was really young. What was that like? After receiving over 300 submissions, some reportedly from big name bands like the Gin Blossoms and They Might Be Giants, they settled on a song by Adam Schlesinger. That was just another surreal moment in a string of surreal moments at that period of my life. Since then I’ve seen him a few more times over the years. They just totally got it wrong—which is more credit to Tom Hanks for not doing that. How did you feel about all that? It was just one of those things where the movie never fully went away.

Later famous as a member of Fountains of Wayne (he co-wrote their hit “Stacy’s Mom”) and composer on the musical rom-com television series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Schlesinger was a relative unknown at the time. Get push notifications with news, features and more. Many songwriters say their best songs come very quickly—was that the case with “That Thing You Do”? Coyote Ugly Turns 20: Where Is the Cast Now? [Laughs] It’s not even about the style, he’s just one of the greatest singers alive. They turned it into Grease or something. Usually what happens with me is that I’ll get the initial idea on day one, or many a couple of competing ideas, and then I’ll spend a couple extra days to refine it a bit and finish it.

The film’s producers put out an industry-wide call looking for just the right tune. If you're a fan of mid-'60s British pop, here's a new recording that adds some more great songs and performances to that genre. Written by Scott Rogness and Rick Elias.

You teamed up with the Monkees recently as producer of their new album, Good Times. The Complex, Entourage, Mix This, O'Henry's, Ocean Way. Sometimes you see music movies and it’s just painful how off everything is. In honor of That Thing You Do!‘s 20th anniversary, PEOPLE spoke to Schlesinger about penning the best ’60s smash that never was. It just sort of found its spot in popular culture and hung around for a long time, which is great. They would show it on TV a lot, and because it’s a music movie it withstands repeat viewing a little better than other movies. As the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do turns 20, PEOPLE spoke to composer Adam Schlesinger about penning hit theme song. That Monkees record was probably the most fun I’ve ever had making a record—maybe with the exception of the first Fountains of Wayne record, which was also really fun to make. So I don’t know. My parents were not really into pop music at all. In fact, the demo that we made was so good that the producers really couldn’t beat it and they ended up hiring Mike to come out and sing the lead vocals in the movie, because nobody could sing that song as well as Mike. It was very cool that it was happening, but at the same time I have this memory that, for all the attention to detail in the actual movie, when they did it at the Oscars they kind of made it into this ’50s diner type thing. Little Wild One. Text us for exclusive photos and videos, royal news, and way more. For example, on my gig right now—the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend—we do songs in all kinds of different genres. It’s something I’ve done a lot of since then; writing to order and writing on deadline for different projects for movies or television or theater. Written by David Gibbs, Steve Hurley, Phil Hurley, and Fred … And I couldn’t believe how many times the song was in the movie. And then I went in and did a demo with Mike Viola singing and my friend Andy Chase who was in the band Ivy with me. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. I went to the premiere and I thought it was amazing. It was with Polygram publishing, which later became a part of Universal. There are no casual fans of That Thing You Do! This is the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks-written and -directed movie about a fictional rock & roll band from Erie, PA (the Wonders), who luck into their one and only hit record in 1964. Introducing ... PEOPLE's Products Worth the Hype. The song peaked at No. I played them for a few people, including Mike Viola, and everybody pointed to the same one as their favorite. I thought it was a really cute, charming movie and I think it was very well done and very accurate in terms of the music stuff. Did he have a better voice for the style? As the Tom Hanks film That Thing You Do turns 20, PEOPLE spoke to composer Adam Schlesinger about penning hit theme song.

As a souvenir of the movie, this soundtrack more than fills the bill. I don’t consider it getting in the mood, I consider it research. In the 20 years since its release, the film has racked up a degree of popular goodwill usually reserved for beloved sports figures, long-time TV hosts and its writer/director/star, Tom Hanks. 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart. They were all sort of related to each other, but they were all slightly different. I Need You (That Thing You Do) Written by Scott Rogness, Rick Elias, and Linda Elias.