Being extremely popular in the United States and Latin America, show tunes are best represented by such notable artists as Tony Bennett, Martin Denny, Ray Conniff, Rosemary Clooney and the Andrews Sisters, who contributed greatly to development of the genre. Together with his orchestra, an outstanding musician Ray Conniff has produced a number of hit singles, including "Just Walking in the Rain" and "Yes Tonight Josephine" by Johnnie Ray; "It's Not For Me to Say" and "Chances Are" by Johnny Ray; "Up Above My Head" by Johnnie Ray and 'The Hanging Tree" by Marty Robbins.
Even greater success was achieved by Tony Bennett, a jazz singer, considered widely to be one of the most interpretive performers in a variety of genres. In his performance show tunes acquired new unusual sounding and form. The first great hit of Bennett was "Because of You", produced by Miller with the orchestral arrangement from Percy Faith. In 1951 it reached #1 on the major pop charts, staying there for more than ten weeks. In 1953 Tony Bennett started performing show tunes for a New York newspaper strike. Thus, "Stranger in Paradise", featured in the Broadway show Kismet, was a #1 hit in the United Kingdom and started his career of an international artist.
Today show tunes dominate a great number of TV series, seen as more suitable for this purpose than background soundtracks or theme songs. Thus, they can be currently applied to a variety of dramatic series, as well as sitcoms. From the Gilmore Girls to the Sopranos, from Providence to Dawson's Creek, an increasing number of TV shows and movies are using orchestral underscoring and adding more hip-hop, pop and rock tunes to their soundtracks.
The fourth season entrance of Tony Soprano was accompanied with World Destruction, while President Bartlet was striding to a news conference to Brothers in Arms by Dire Strait. The list of such tunes is quite extensive with the tendency to increase each season. Up to 100 songs are licensed by the producers of the Sopranos for each 12-episode arc. Employed in Gilmore Girls are rocker Grant Lee Buffalo, folk-pop singer Sam Phillips and Grant-Lee Phillips.
Such musical experiments were quite uncommon several years ago, which means television has entered in a new phase of its development, marked by numerous oddities. The latter are best represented by a variety of shows, like JAG, relying greatly on the orchestral scoring. Many of the pop hits from the 60s were incorporated, and the patterns were set for the majority of today's shows. The increased popularity of source music means not so many opportunities for traditional composers.
Common today are show choirs, also known as swing choirs, which feature a group of artists performing a set of songs. Most frequently these include several songs with a quick tempo and a few ballads, and feature sets, props, costume changes and dance or gymnastic moves. Each year a great number of show choir competitions are arranged, with the purpose of rating various choirs on their choreography, vocal sound and general performance.