The 8 songs Dustin Hoffman can’t live without
By Thomas Leatham
Sept 4, 2023
Alongside the likes of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, perhaps one of his generation’s most iconic and celebrated actors is the legendary Dustin Hoffman. Throughout his lengthy career, Hoffman has been adorned with several accolades, including two Academy Awards, four Baftas, and five Golden Globes.
Hoffman’s efforts in movies such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Main, The Graduate, and Midnight Cowboy have drawn their rightful share of admiration, showing that the California-born actor possesses the kind of nuance and versatility that most other actors can only dream of.
While Hoffman has provided so many film fans with their favorite cinematic moments, the actor looks to be a big fan of the musical medium and once named the songs he could not live without on the classic BBC radio show Desert Island Discs. The appearance gives a wonderful insight into Hoffman’s personality.
After all, we are made up of the songs that we love, and whittling down all of our favorite tunes is a hard task, but the result tells much about the selector. Hoffman starts off his difficult decision by picking out the classic Ritchie Valens tune ‘La Bamba’, which was released in 1958.
‘La Bamba’ is a Mexican folk song that originated in the state of Veracruz. Valens’ version is by far the most popular and was a top 40 hit in the United States chart. It’s been covered by a number of other artists, including Los Lobos, whose version was used in the Valens biopic movie La Bamba.
There’s another classic on Hoffman’s list, Otis Redding’s legendary 1968 tune ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’, written in partnership with guitarist Steve Cropper. Redding recorded the song twice in 1967, one time of which was just three days before he died in a plane crash. His tune became the first posthumously released number-one single in the United States.
There’s also admiration in Hoffman for Bette Midler, particularly the song ‘Shoot the Breeze’, which, interestingly enough, Hoffman actually sang on and had written in his youth. Midler provided the lyrics, and the pair performed the song on her television special Ol’ Red Hair Is Back.
Elsewhere, we see Hoffman’s admiration for the likes of Slim Gaillard, Diana Krall, John Hendricks, Donnie Brooks, Trevor Peacock, and David Ryall, showing that the actor loves a classic or two. Check out the complete list below.
Dustin Hoffman’s favorite songs:
- Ritchie Valens – ‘La Bamba’
- Slim Gaillard – ‘Cement Mixer’
- Otis Redding – ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’
- Diana Krall – ‘Frim Fram Sauce’
- Bette Midler – ‘Shoot the Breeze’
- Jon Hendricks – ‘How High the Moon’
- Donnie Brooks – ‘Memphis’
- Trevor Peacock and David Ryall – ‘Are You Havin’ Any Fun?’