I went to Disneyland yesterday with my son Sam (9).  We were waiting in line at the Indiana Jones ride, and, if you haven’t ridden it, one of the things they have in the waiting area is a dimly-heard radio program about the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, or whatever the thing is called that you’re about to walk into.  In between broadcasts of the pretend news-show, they play Benny Goodman Glenn Miller (see below).

When “In the Mood” came on, Sam asked “What is this?”  looking like someone had poured coffee into his Orangina.  I said: “This is Benny Goodman Glenn Miller, this is a song that was really popular when Indiana Jones was doing the things he was doing.  So they’ve got this pretend radio broadcast with this kind of music to get you ‘in the mood’ for the ride.”

Sam: “But Indiana Jones wouldn’t listen to stuff like this.”

And then it occurred to me: What would Indiana Jones listen to?  I tried to picture him listening to any of the contemporary popular music of the day and drew a blank.  I tried to picture him listening to classical music, but again nothing.  I could imagine his father, Henry Jones Sr, listening to Bach and chiding young Indiana for not appreciating its precision and beauty, but as far as what Indiana Jones would listen to while grading papers or driving from place to place, nothing came to me.

So I turn to you, dear readers.  I know there are Indiana Jones comics and novels and role-playing games and God knows what else — is there ever a mention of what Indy listens to?

(He sits through Willie Scott’s Cole Porter number in Temple of Doom, but he’s not there to listen to music, he’s there to deal with the nightclub’s owner, the vile Mr. Lau.)


11 Responses to “Query”
  1. Ben JB (was samedietc) says:

    In the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode / movie, “Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues,” Indy enjoys jazz and, through his failure to bring Al Capone to justice, experiences the type of hardship that allows him to play blues as well.

    Although you probably could’ve guessed that from the title.

  2. Country and Western or Western Swing?

    As far as driving from place to place, though, did they have radios in autos back in the 40s?

  3. Patrick says:

    Are you sure it was Benny Goodman? In The Mood was more Glenn Miller’s thing. A prominent clarinet solo would give it away as Goodman, though.

  4. richard says:

    Ben JB’s comment does my heart good, since I always had him pegged as a big fan of Leadbelly and Robert Johnson. I have to temper the enthusiasm for jazz over on lj – I can see him cutting a rug to Goodman’s Sing, sing, sing but he does not strike me as a Cab Calloway man.

  5. Gazblow says:

    Tuvan throat singing (he goes to the Himalayas to retrieve the headpiece to the staff of Ra)
    Indian ragas (gets him in the mood to search for the Sivalinga stones)
    Gilbert and Sullivan (that his dad Sean Connery listened to whilst teaching him how to conjugate ancient Greek)
    Theramin records (’cause of all the UFOs)

    What? Too on the nose?

  6. Billy says:

    I know it’s a cop out but I’d guess that he wouldn’t listen to anything. I’m sure if there’s music playing he’d listen to it, but to actually take the time to pull a 78 out of the sleeve and listen to some hot jazz, I don’t think so.

    I’m actually trying to remember if we ever saw his house in the films, other than his childhood home at the start of ‘The Last Crusade’, to see if there was a gramophone or radio in it.

    • Todd says:

      We spend a decent amount of time in his house at the beginning of Crystal Skull, but I don’t remember any record player on display there.

  7. Curt_Holman says:

    Marcus visits Indy at his house before he leaves to find the Lost Ark.

    I’d say that a more revealing answer to the question “What kind of music does Indy listen to?” might come from Sam.

  8. Furby says:

    The aforementioned Young Indiana Jones has Indy jamming with Sidney Bechet and a white trumpet player named Bix is seen in their group (I always interpreted this as Bix Beiderbecke.) I’d have to watch the episode again, but I remember a scene where Indy says that he was listening to jazz in New Orleans when his dad took him to that city. So my guess is he likes early jazz. Can’t really see him going for Big Band Swing though.

    I also remember a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy and Elsa are in bathrobes and a portable record player is playing classical music.