The Music Never Stopped
Directed byJim Kohlberg
Written byGwyn Lurie
Gary Marks
Based onThe Last Hippie
by Oliver Sacks
Produced byNeal Moritz
StarringJ.K. Simmons
Julia Ormond
Mía Maestro
Lou Taylor Pucci
CinematographyStephen Kazmierski
Edited byKeith Reamer
Music byPaul Cantelon
Essential Pictures
Mr. Tamborine Man
Distributed byRoadside Attractions
Release dates
  • January 20, 2011 (2011-01-20) (Sundance Film Festival)
  • March 18, 2011 (2011-03-18) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$150,515[1]

The Music Never Stopped is a 2011 American drama film directed by Jim Kohlberg, who makes his directorial debut from a script by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks.

It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and was given a limited release in the US on March 18, 2011.


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Based on Oliver Sacks' essay The Last Hippie, the film tells the story of the father-son relationship between Henry Sawyer (J.K. Simmons) and his son, Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci), who suffers from anterograde amnesia as the result of a brain tumor. Henry, with his son unable to shed light on their strained relationship, must connect with him through music.



On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a 67% approval rating, based on 49 reviews.[2] On Metacritic it has a score of 60% based on reviews from 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[3]

Ty Burr of The Boston Globe remarked the film was "one to remember", also calling it "sentimental, yet so honest and eccentric that it rises above schmaltz".[4] Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club compared the film's story to The King's Speech, giving praise to J.K. Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci and calling the film a "powerful, even shattering look at music's power to unite where it once divided".[5]



Original music featured in the film is by Paul Cantelon.[6]

Additionally, the following songs were featured in the film and published as a standalone soundtrack album in 2011 on various online digital platforms, including Amazon and Apple Music.[7]

The album features one of the original pieces composed for the film by Paul Cantelon, 'Gabriel's Theme'.

Music by the band the Grateful Dead features prominently in the soundtrack and film.

Track Listing
  1. "Till There Was You" (Peggy Lee)
  2. "Uncle John’s Band" (Grateful Dead)
  3. "Sugar Magnolia" (Live) (Grateful Dead)*
  4. "I Threw It All Away" (Bob Dylan)
  5. "Magic Carpet Ride" (Steppenwolf)
  6. "Mellow Yellow" (Donovan)
  7. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
  8. "Not Fade Away/Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad" (Live) (Grateful Dead)
  9. "Truckin’” (Live) (Grateful Dead)*
  10. "Touch Of Grey" (Live) (Grateful Dead)*
  11. "Ripple" (Grateful Dead)
  12. "Summer Song" (The Tulips)*
  13. "Gabriel’s Theme" (Paul Cantelon)

* indicates previously unreleased tracks [8]


  1. ^ "The Music Never Stopped". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "The Music Never Stopped (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Music Never Stopped". Metacritic.
  4. ^ "The Music Never Stopped". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  5. ^ Nathan Rabin (2011). "The Music Never Stopped". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "The Music Never Stopped (2011)". The SoundtrackINFO Project. Retrieved 2021-10-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "The Music Never Stopped (Music from the Motion Picture)". Apple Music. 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2021-10-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED SOUNDTRACK BRINGS OUT UNHEARD DEAD". 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2021-10-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)