A jukebox musical is a stage or film musical that uses previously released popular songs as its musical score. Usually the songs have in common a connection with a particular popular musician or group — because they were either written by, or for, the artists in question, or at least covered by them. The songs are contextualized into a dramaticplot: often the biographical story of the performer(s) whose music is featured, although in some cases the plot does not revolve around the particular group at all. Although jukebox musicals had achieved success for years (for instance Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, the musical about the life of Buddy Holly which ran in the West End for 13 years from 1989 to 2003), their recent surge in popularity was led by the success of Mamma Mia!, built around the music of ABBA.
Reception of jukebox musicals have been divided, with the most common criticism being that there is too much focus on how many songs can be fitted into the musical. Some jukebox musicals, like Lennon and Good Vibrations have been critical and financial flops. Others, like Jersey Boys and All Shook Up have received acclaim and have become popular with fans and critics alike.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), a picture dealing with the life of Playwright and Composer George M. Cohan, and featuring many of his greatest songs, which were among the most popular songs of their day (Late 19th Century-Early 20th Century).
Hootenanny Hoot (1963), a low-budget MGM picture intended to capitalize on the Folk Music craze then sweeping America, featuring on-screen performances by Johnny Cash, Judy Henske, and several other Folk Music artists.