“I Heard It On T.V.” – Finding New Music On the Tube


In 1999, I flipped on HBO to watch a new show called “The Sopranos.”  The opening sequence featured Tony Soprano driving through New Jersey to a very cool tune that I had never heard before. After digging around, I found out it was called “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3. Who? 

In one of the last scenes of Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise is running through what appears to be an airport to get home and here the now famous phrase “you had me from hello.” I always loved the haunting song in that scene, but never knew what it was. Then earlier this year I was watching the Showtime show “Californication,” starring David Duchovny. It’s the saga of a down-and-out writer who gets laid more than one man probably should.  One of the episodes featured the song.  I went to the website and found out it was “Through the Hill” by Harold Budd and Andy Partrigde of XTC. Who knew?  


In the past ten years, TV shows have opened the door for indie and classic artists to be heard.  I have discovered some of the best music in my collection by watching the aforementioned shows, as well as others like “Big Love,” “ER,” “The Shield,” californication_jpg_150x1000_upscale_q85“Friday Night Lights,” “Nip/Tuck” and the list goes on.  Songs like “Passenger Seat” from Death Cab for Cutie, “Peace of Mind” from Mindy Smith, “Your Hand in Mine” from Explosions in the Sky, “Battle Flag” by Pigeonhed, “If You See Her Say Hello” by Bob Dylan, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, “Affection” by the Lost Boys (featuring Little Steven), “Shuck Dub” by R.L. Burnside, the excellent “Evidently Chickentown,” by John Cooper Clarke, “I’ve Got A Feeling” by the Campbell Brothers featuring Katie Jackson, “Devil Town” by Tony Lucca, “Black Books” by Nils Lofgren and “Thru and Thru” by the Rolling Stones with the haunting Keith Richards vocal that brilliantly wrapped around the end of “The Sopranos” second season, are all songs I might never have paid attention to had they not been in these shows.

Sometimes it takes a certain scene in a television show or a movie to bring a song to life. With radio pretty much ignoring anything that is not Britney Spears, The Jonas Brothers or the God-awful Taylor Swift, thank God the producers of these fine shows have taken the time to search out great music, that not only enhance their programs, but give us the opportunity to listen.

MP3: “Evidently Chickentown” – John Cooper Clarke

MP3: “Peace of Mind” – Mindy Smith

MP3: “Thru and Thru” – Rolling Stones

MP3: “Black Books” – Nils Lofgren

MP3: “I’ve Got A Feeling” – The Campbell Brothers featuring Katie Jackson

MP3: “Passenger Seat” – Death Cab for Cutie

MP3: “Your Hand in Mine (Goodbye)” – Explosions in the Sky

3 Responses to ““I Heard It On T.V.” – Finding New Music On the Tube”

  1. and now with the IPhone application Shazam, i just hold my phone up to the TV and it finds the song for me in ITunes, instantly identified and ready to download, should I so choose.

  2. i am the unknown known as neil nathan

    thank the lord for californication and for jeff lynne, who approved my version of his tune for use on the show, which was quite exciting

    glad you dug the tune

    video for it will be completed shortly

    you can find out more about my comings and goings at neilnathan.com

    and my new vid for my cover of beethoven’s fur elise can be seen here

    take care

  3. Watch HBO Series Entourage TV Show Streaming Online Free


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