Songs that became movies/TV shows

The song has to have come first and inspired the movie or show. No theme songs, and no movies/shows that happen to have the same title as the song but the two otherwise have nothing to do with each other.

“Convoy” by CW McCall
“Harper Valley PTA” by Jeannie C. Riley
“Take This Job and Shove It” by David Allen Coe
“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks

The John Wayne movie Green Berets was based on the bestselling Ballad of… – there was also a book, apparently – it’s not clear where the book comes in the chronology.

How about this masterpiece?

Several Christmas movies/TV specials came from songs:

“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (the song was introduced in the vastly superior “Holiday Inn”)
“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”
“Frosty the Snowman”
There were also some composer biographies that were named for songs they wrote:

“Till the Clouds Roll By” (Jerome Kern)
“Three Little Words” (Bert Kalmer and Harry Ruby)
“Night and Day” (Cole Porter)
“Yankee Doodle Dandy” (George M. Cohan)

And there’s also “The Gambler” (Kenny Rogers song made into a TV movie).

“Everyone Says I Love You” (also Kalmer and Ruby) inspired a Woody Allen movie of that name (at least to some degree).

Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.”

Willie Nelson’s “Red-Headed Stranger.”

Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead.

(I don’t know whether the movie actually has anything to do with the song, or if it just cribbed the title. I’ve been meaning to see it.)

“Ode to Billy Joe”

You know, it’s funny, a LOT of people think that happened.

But it didn’t. IT DIDN’T, I TELLS YA!!

Yellow Submarine
Ode to Billy Joe
Tam Lin
(not a pop song, but a Scottish border ballad)

IIRC, Rhinestone (starring Sly Stallone and Dolly Parton) included a credit at the beginning, “based on the song Rhinestone Cowboy”.

Maybe, not a credit, so much as a confession/excuse.

John Waters’ Cry Baby was inspired by a song of the same name, but was re-recorded for the movie, so I don’t rightly know who did the original.

I’m so proud to be the first to mention The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.