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.
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!