Artist of the Day: Randy Newman

posted by Matt Jarrells on 08/17/2017

August 17, 2017

Singer-songwriter Randy Newman has been entertaining audiences and sharing his unique sensibilities with the world for over fifty years. The nephew of famed Hollywood composer Alfred Newman, Randy began his songwriting career as a teenager when he released his first single "Golden Gridiron Boy" in 1962. He would work throughout the 60s as a songwriter for various acts including Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Gene Pitney, and the O'Jays. His self-titled debut solo album was released in 1968. Though not a commercial hit, the album garnered a large following. He followed that up with 12 Songs which, like his debut received critical raves, but was not a commercial smash. Newman would first hit the billboard charts with Randy Newman Live in 1971 and Sail Away in 1972. Newman's 1974 release Good Old Boys along with the track "Redneck" would showcase his wry social commentary and witty lyrics.

Newman found unusual success with the controversial 1977 track "Short People". Along with his solo releases, Newman found success as a film composer and songwriter. Newman composed the scores to Ragtime, The Natural, and Parenthood. In the 90s, Newman became one of the go-to film composers for the animation studio Pixar. Newman composed the scores and contributed songs to the Toy Story movies which included "You've Got a Friend in Me". Throughout his illustrious career, Newman has received twenty Oscar nominations, two wins, three Emmys, and six Grammys. Heavily inspired by the turbulent politics of today, Newman released the single "Putin" last year. The song was inspired by the famous photo of the Russian ruler shirtless riding a horse. Newman's latest album Dark Matter was released last Friday.

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