Saturday, April 19, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: 'Days of our Lives' Memorable Musical Montages

I an a romantic. I admit it. I want to watch a couple fall in love slowly and and sit on the edge of my seat as I wait for "the moment." Do you remember the days when your favorite couple fought so hard to be together? And then, when they were finally united, they received their own special song? This signified that they had "made it." Or when they were torn apart, they would remember the good times shared, and the beautiful song would play in the background of a flashback sequence. Do you miss that? I do!

I miss hearing the latest pop songs on the soaps and how much many of them added to the shows in the '80s and early '90s, before the show couldn't afford to pay for them anymore. Music added so much to the moment.

Today, I want to highlight Days of Our Lives, which was known as the show for supercouples and romance. Below are some of my favorite musical montages from the past, including John (then thought to be Roman) and Marlena, Bo and Hope, Kim and Shane, and Steve and Kayla. I would love to hear what you think about the use of music in daytime soaps.


  1. DAYS was so good at using music to set the tone. Bo and Hope had multiple songs depending on what was happening. Today's Soap History column features Bo's return in 1990 and he's on a motorcycle with "Holding Out For a Hero" playing.

    And it wasn't just about romance. Roger Thorpe chasing Rita Bauer on GL through the Hall of Mirrors with "Enough is Enough" playing was magical. I can't imagine those scenes without that song.

    The bad news, as I found out as editorial director at Soap Classics, is that because shows paid to use that music one-time only back then we'll probably never have any of that material released to the public on DVD or streaming, at least not the way it originally aired. This is probably one of the things that keeps 'Santa Barbara' from making a comeback of any kind. In more recent years if a show like OLTL used a pop song during the day it sometimes switched to a generic song by its second airing on SOAPnet.

  2. When it comes to the use of contemporary or cutting edge music-of-the-day on soaps, I think HOLLYOAKS, has everyone beat. After the opening sequence, they typically have a mini-montage, showing scenes with some of the characters to be featured in the episode played against a selected song. Channel 4 then updates their "Hollyoaks Playlist" on a daily basis with these featured songs kept on the list for about three months. And if you get the free Spotify app, you can listen to the full song or even let entire list play in-sequence like a radio channel. So if you're looking for 5+ hours of good music -- there ya go! .. .lol! I've discovered several new artists along the way, but you'll also hear known groups like M83, Nine Inch Nails, Rihanna, Linkin Park, Snow Patrol, etc. And when the show recently did the Vegas Wedding Week with Freddie & Sinead, they featured oldies by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis and The Walker Bros. It was really fun! On a more somber note, when Baby Katy recently died they went with child singer, Isabelle Allen, singing "Castle on a Cloud" from the Les Miserables film. And when they panned away from actually showing John Paul's rape, they selected a haunting children's choir rendition of "Amazing Grace." I'm not sure who chooses these songs, but they generally do a fine job of matching the mood of the episode.

    Also, another show that prominently features and showcases music-to-theme is EAST LOS HIGH. One of the areas of their website is entirely devoted to the "Music" used on the show. You can go episode-by-episode to get the scene and name of a song you've heard during it. While you can't replay the music at the website, they do have links to the artists' websites and also give the iTunes, CDBaby, or other purchase link. One thing I like that they do is give "featured artist" bios along the way. It's nice to learn about some of these young musicians whose music you may be hearing for the first time. Good job (not to mention good marketing tie-in!).

  3. Thanks for the info Fox. And as Roger was saying, it really is sad about Santa Barbara. There was so much great music used on the show.