Among the late Adam Schlesinger's many musical achievements over the last 30 years (Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, the songs for Crazy Ex Girlfriend) is writing the title song to That Thing You Do, the 1996 film Tom Hanks wrote and directed about a fictional '60s band, The Wonders, and their one hit. As many have noted, "That Thing You Do" is a triumph of songwriting in that it has to be period-specific to its Beatlemania era and not just a good song but one that can stand up to being played a couple dozen times throughout the film. The song actually became a minor hit of its own in 1996, peaking at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 69th annual Oscars (it lost to Madonna's "You Must Love Me" from Evita). You can watch the "That Thing You Do" video below, and you can watch the very enjoyable movie via Hulu (or rent it through most other streaming services).

The Wonders of the film -- Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Ethan Embry, and Steve Zahn -- took a few weeks of lessons to convincingly mime the song in the film and actually played it live at least once, at a surprise performance at L.A.'s The Roxy in 1997. The Wonders are now getting back together, virtually, for a tribute to Schlesinger (who died last week from coronavirus complications) on Friday, April 17 at 7 PM Eastern via YouTube. Co-star Liv Tyler will also be on hand for the Zoom conversation about the film, the song and Schlesinger. (Maybe Tom Hanks will show up too?) They'll be doing it to raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The livestream feed is below as well.


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