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Musical Montage: Keith Carradine “I’m Easy”

Robert Altman’s magnum opus dramedy Nashville is jam-packed with characters and music but Keith Carradine’s song “I’m Easy” is the one the rose above the others to not only win Best Original Song at the Oscars, but also became a radio hit.  Carradine plays folk-rocker Tom Frank, who is part of the trio Billy, Mary and Tom.  The trio has arrived in Nashville to record a new album and become involved in the various happenings around the city in the few days leading to a massive political rally for Hal Phillip Walker, who is running under the independent Replacement Party.  Tom is planning on going solo and leaving his group and also romances several ladies in town, including Lily Tomlin and Geraldine Chaplin.  Many of the 24(!) main characters are in attendance at an open mic night when Tom sings “I’m Easy”, with many of the women in attendance believing he’s singing specifically to her.  After filming, Carradine recording a slightly faster version of the song with more accompanying instruments and that version became a hit on the radio, reaching #1 on the Easy Listening charts and #17 on the Hot 100.  It ended up at #71 for the 1976 year-end chart as well and it’s been widely mistaken in the ensuing years to be a Jim Croce song, due to the similar vocal stylings and guitar.  You can check out the song below.

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