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SoundTRAX: "Almost Famous"

The cover of the "Almost Famous" features actress Kate Hudson wearing sunglasses.
DreamWorks Records
DreamWorks Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

It's Kate Hudson's 44th birthday and not to disregard the rest of her career, but c'mon— she will always be "Penny Lane," right? Seems like a good excuse to feature Almost Famous for today's SoundTRAX— not that I need an excuse.

I mean, it's my favorite combination: great film, even better soundtrack.

We are, after all, talking about the undisputed "King of the Soundtrack," writer and director Cameron Crowe.

Almost Famous was inspired by his days as Rolling Stone magazine's youngest ever contributor, where as a teen he interviewed the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

Man, his youth was a hell of a lot better then mine.

In the movie it's William (Patrick Fugit) who longs to be a music journalist and follows a band called Stillwater on tour, capturing the good, the bad, and the ugly of 70s rock and roll decadence, which involves Hudson's star-making debut as "band-aid" Penny Lane.

The decade is perfectly represented by the fashion and the music— plus there's Peter Frampton's cameo giving a wink to his days of excess with Humble Pie.

Frampton not only was the technical consultant, he also wrote some of Stillwater's songs, as did Crowes' then-wife, Heart's Nancy Wilson. Pearl Jam's Mike McCready supplied the guitar for the band.

The movie version of Stillwater was played by Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek, and John Fedevich. But there actually was an actual group with the name that existed from 1973 to 1984 so Crowe had to pay for use of the name.

The Grammy-winning soundtrack of Almost Famous, as you would expect, is loaded with rock gods like Zeppelin, The Who, Yes, The Allman Brothers and Todd Rundgren.

But why pretend today's SoundTRAX could possibly be anything else?

From the most iconic scene in Almost Famous, get ready to sing along with Elton John and "Tiny Dancer."

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.