Randy Newman (Songwriter)
Randy Newman is an American songwriter and composer who has written some of the most notable film songs of the past thirty years as well as being an iconic songwriter since the early 1960s.
Randall Stuart 'Randy' Newman was born on 28th November 1943 in Los Angeles, California. His mother, Adele 'Dixie' Fox was a secretary whilst his father, Irving George Newman, worked as an internist. His three uncles, on the other hand, were heavily involved in creating music for films. Alfred Newman, one of Randy's three uncles, still has the greatest number of Oscars for music contributions, he won a total of 9. Only Walt Disney (22 Oscars) and Cedric Gibbons (11 Oscars - who was the Art Director for amongst other movies 'The Wizard of Oz') have won more. Randy always envisaged himself following the family tradition and working within films. Newman studied for a BA to the University of California but didn't complete the course, dropping out with only one semester to go. At the age of 17 he became a professional songwriter, his childhood friend Lenny Waronker was involved in the music industry and brought Newman in to work with various artists. Newman's early songs were recorded by the likes of Gene Pitney and Dusty Sprinfield amongst a long list. One of his early successes as a songwriter was 'Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear' which reached number 4 in the UK charts in 1967 when recorded by The Alan Price Set. In 1968 he recorded a debut solo album which, although finding critical success, didn't make it into the Billboard 200. In 1970 Harry Nilsson recorded an album of purely Newman songs for his release 'Nilsson sings Newman'. Again this wasn't a commercial success although critics were very complimentary of the album. When Newman released his next album, '12 Songs' in 1970 it included a song that would later go on to be a massive hit for Three Dog Night and even later for Tom Jones and the Stereophonics 'Mama Told me not to come'.
1972 saw the release of Newman's album 'Sail Away'. This included the title track which was later recorded by both Ray Charles and also Linda Rondstadt, as well as featuring the song 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' which has been covered by Three Dog Night, Etta James, Joe Cocker and most recently Tom Jones for the movie 'The Full Monty'.
In 1977 Newman released 'Little Criminals' which feautred the suprising and also controversial hit 'Short People'. In 1983 his 'Trouble in Paradise' album included the song 'I Love L.A.' which has been widely used since its creation. Newman's albums have always been noted for their distinctive voice and critical and often satirical lyric writing.
In 1995 Randy Newman created his musical version of 'Faust' based on the Goethe novel. 'Feels like Home' which later was recorded by Linda Rondstadt and also Chantal Kreviazuk is taken from this work.
Writing for film
Randy Newman has written for films since 1971 when he worked on the movie Cold Turkey. Since then he has been involved in the musical creation for many movies including Parenthood, Meet The Parents, and also the Robin Williams/Robert de Niro movie Awakenings but he is most known recently for his work with director John Lasseter and Disney/Pixar on the Toy Story series of movies including the songs 'You've Got A Friend in Me' for Toy Story and 'When She Loved Me' for Toy Story 2 as well as creating songs and music for A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, Cars and The Princess and the Frog. Randy Newman finally won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2001 (after 15 prior nominations) for the song 'If I Didn't Have You' from the movie Monsters Inc. He won his second Oscar in 2011 for Best Original Song, this time for 'We Belong Together' from the movie Toy Story 3. Along with his Oscar wins, he has 6 Grammys and 4 Emmys.For more information on Randy Newman please visit
Selected list of songs & movies for which Randy Newman has created music and songs;
- Randy Newman [1968 Album]
- 12 Songs [1970 Album] (featured first recording of 'Mama Told me not to Come')
- Sail Away [1972 Album] (featured first recordings of 'Sail Away' and 'You Can Leave Your Hat On')
- Little Criminals [1977 Album] (featured the hit song 'Short People')
- Ragtime [1981 Movie]
- Trouble In Paradise [1983 Album] (featured first recording of 'I Love L.A.')
- Parenthood [1989 Movie]
- Awakenings [1990 Movie]
- Toy Story [1995 Movie] (featured the song 'You've Got A Friend in Me')
- Randy Newman's Faust [1995 Musical] (featured the song 'Feels Like Home')
- A Bug's Life [1998 Movie]
- Toy Story 2 [1999 Movie](featured the song 'When She Loved Me')
- Meet The Parents [2000 Movie]
- Monsters Inc [2001 Movie](featured the Oscar winning song 'If I Didn't Have You')
- Seabiscuit [2003 Movie]
- Cars [2006 Movie]
- Harps and Angels [2008 Album]
- The Princess and the Frog [2009 Movie]
- Toy Story 3 [2010 Movie] (featured the song 'We Belong Together')