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Friday, November 28, 2014

Ya gotta show up

When asked once about his phenomenal career, songwriter and lyricist Randy Newman replied “If you’re doing something, show up every day, and something good might happen – it’s not going to happen if you don’t show up.”

Born this day, Newman is a writer who pretty much always shows up, especially when it comes to writing songs for movies.  He’s been nominated for Academy Awards 20 times and won twice for his sometimes quirky and always wonderful songs – for which he writes both the words and music … and often is the singer.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his most memorable film scores are for the Toy Story series; the Monsters, Inc. series, Seabiscuit and Ragtime.

 Randy Newman

Newman, who cites Ray Charles as his greatest influence during his “growing up” years, has been a professional songwriter since age 17.   I first became aware of Newman’s writing when I was in college and started looking for song written by him after that – always rewarded with great words and tunes whenever I found one.  At the time he was writing for other musicians or groups with which he sang, and only after he went solo did I also discover I really liked his raspy, fun voice.

While I can truly say I’ve never heard a Newman song I didn’t like, I especially like these two.  Take a few minutes to listen for yourself.  The first, “It’s a Jungle out there,” was the Emmy winning theme song for the long-running TV series Monk.  The other, “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, is one of his two Academy Award winners.  These versions also show the words and it’s Newman’s voice that you hear.  Enjoy…and happy birthday Randy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhKlBH2_dVY  (It’s a Jungle out there)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns5Q25ozfaw (We belong together)

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