The Bare Necessities

Bruce Reitherman, Phil Harris

About The Bare Necessities

"The Bare Necessities" is a song, written by Terry Gilkyson, from the animated 1967 Disney film The Jungle Book, sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli. Originally, it was written for an earlier draft of the movie that was never produced. The Sherman Brothers, who wrote the other songs of the film, kept this as the only song used from the previous version. A reprise of the song was sung by Sebastian Cabot as Bagheera and Phil Harris as Baloo at the end of the film. Van Dyke Parks worked on the arrangement, which was his first paid gig after moving to California. The song was also sung by Louis Armstrong. In 1967, "The Bare Necessities" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to "Talk to the Animals" from Doctor Dolittle. A hip-hop version of the song performed by Lou Rawls was used as the theme song for Jungle Cubs. 


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Phil Harris

Phil Harris (born Wonga Philip Harris; June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was an American singer, songwriter, jazz musician, actor, and comedian. Though successful as an orchestra leader, Harris is remembered today for his recordings as a vocalist, his voice work in animation (probably most famous later in his career for his roles as bears, one being Baloo in Disney's The Jungle Book, and as Little John in Disney's Robin Hood). He also voiced Thomas O'Malley in Disney's The Aristocats. Harris was also a pioneer in radio situation comedy, first with Jack Benny, and then in a series in which he co-starred with his wife, singer-actress Alice Faye in eight years. more »

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5 facts about this song

Composition & Release
"The Bare Necessities" was written by Terry Gilkyson for the animated Disney film "The Jungle Book," released in 1967. - Though the song was written specifically for a children's movie, it quickly became a popular favorite with audiences of all ages.
Performance & Recognition
The song was first performed in the film by Phil Harris, who provided the voice of the character Baleoo. - "The Bare Necessities" was later covered by the famous jazz musician Louis Armstrong. - The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1967, though it did not win.
Unique Lyrics & Melody
The catchy, upbeat tune and memorable lyrics about enjoying the simple essentials of life have made "The Bare Necessities" a classic. - The lyrics of "The Bare Necessities" express the philosophy of taking life easy and maximizing the pleasure from what nature has to provide - essentially, the 'bare necessities'.
Cultural Impact & Legacy
Due to its popularity, "The Bare Necessities" has been covered by numerous artists and featured in several Disney compilation albums. - The song was used as the theme for Disney's Animal Kingdom and also appeared in the video game "Just Dance: Disney Party." - In the 2016 live-action adaptation of "The Jungle Book," the song was sung by Bill Murray, who played Baleoo in the film.
Terry Gilkyson, who wrote "The Bare Necessities," was initially hired to write all the songs for "The Jungle Book." However, only "The Bare Necessities" was kept in the final film. - Louis Armstrong's version of "The Bare Necessities" is known for its jazz influence, which adds a unique twist to the original song.

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