“I Don’t Wanna Be” | Sarah King

There have been several posts throughout the semester about One Tree Hill  that have got me thinking about why it’s one of my favorite series. I love that it was filmed in NC, that one of the main characters is a Wake alum (shout out to Lee Norris), and I love the drama. Most of all, however, I love the music.

“From the beginning, One Tree Hill had not only a defining look and tone, but a sound as well,” is how the series was described in a special episode that aired before the series finale, featuring interviews with the cast and creator, Mark Schwahn. There isn’t a fan who can hear Gavin DeGraw’s  “I Don’t Wanna Be” without connecting it to the show. I had always loved the music in One Tree Hill, but it wasn’t until hearing this interview with Schawhn that I realized just how intentional the music in this show was.

“It’s almost like we made a mix tape every week, and I got to give my mix tape to millions of people and say, ‘here’s what I’m listening to and here’s what I love,'” said Schwahn. They developed a relationship with Gavin DeGraw well after his first album, Chariot, was released and he was struggling as a new artist. Because of One Tree Hill fans, “I Don’t Want to Be” went platinum after his album had been out over a year.


Season 1 Episode 10 “You Gotta Go There to Come Back”

Schwahn went on to say “the series became a destination for new and emerging artists,” creating characters for singers Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele (who are currently on tour together). Guest appearances include artists such as Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Eat World, Jack’s Mannequin, Fall Out Boy, Lupe Fiasco, Cheap Trick, Kid Cudi, and more.

I know I’m a music geek, but it makes my heart  happy to know how much thought was put into the music in one of my favorite series. I appreciate how Schwahn used the outlet of a popular television show to help launch and develop artists that he believed in. I discovered so many artists because of this show, and think they did an excellent job of integrating music into the plot in a way that felt natural. If you haven’t watched One Tree Hill, I definitely recommend it. If you have, I recommend watching your favorite episodes again and paying attention to the musical choices!


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4 Responses to “I Don’t Wanna Be” | Sarah King

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I’m a huge OTH hill fan and definitely geeked out a bit when Tyler Hilton came to play at Wake two years ago. I think it’s important to note what an impact this intentional music had on creating the world of this tv show. I think the “mix tape” that accompanies each episode helps to create the tone of that world. The same can also be said for shows such as The O.C. and Gossip Girl. Both have very distinctive music senses that make viewers feel a sense of comfort and belonging when they watch these shows. – Valerie Medoff

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I love this post so much because I am the biggest OTH fan, and therefore, have always been a huge fan of Gavin Degraw as well. My friends from home always go to his concerts whenever he is in town, because not only is he amazing, but he also represents a major portion of my life growing up as I watched OTH all the time. It is so interesting how this great show was able to identify Gavin and his talent, and then keep this musical relationship going throughout its time on the air. And as a result, it is obvious how much Gavin prospered from this relationship because he is still going strong today!
    -Lacey Worsham

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Music is always something I’ve paid attention to in TV shows. Although it can go unnoticed, I know most shows put a lot of thought into it. For example, in the show Family Guy, live orchestra’s record music specifically for each episode. I feel like a majority of the people never realize how important music selection is in TV shows. Although I have not seen many OTH episodes, I know from my friends, that just about everyone loves the music! – Katie Thevenow

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I love One Tree Hill and the music on the show was iconic. So embarrassed that I just put two and two together and realized that Lee Norris was also in Boy Meets World, another influential sitcom! I love that when I hear any of the music from One Tree Hill it has the ability to immediately take me back to the place in the show where I first heard it. -Courtney Green

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