28/11/2017

Randall Stuart "Randy" Newman

Happy birthday Randall Stuart "Randy" Newman (born November 28, 1943) an American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist who is known for his distinctive voice, mordant (and often satirical) pop songs, and for film scores.
Newman was born in Los Angeles, the son of Adele "Dixie" (Fox) (August 30, 1916 – October 4, 1988), a secretary, and Irving George Newman (November 28, 1913 – February 1, 1990), an internist. He lived in New Orleans as a small child and spent summers there until he was 11 years old, his family having by then returned to Los Angeles. Newman also shares the same birthday as his father. The paternal side of his family includes grandparents Luba (née Koskoff) (July 21, 1883 – March 3, 1954) and Michael Newman (Nemorofsky) (1874-1948), and three uncles who were noted Hollywood film-score composers: Alfred Newman, Lionel Newman and Emil Newman. Newman's cousins Thomas, Maria, David, and Joey are also composers for motion pictures. He graduated from University High School in Los Angeles. Newman studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles, but dropped out one semester shy of a B.A. His parents were both from Jewish families, but Newman's household was not observant; he has since become an atheist.
Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer. His film scores include Ragtime, Awakenings, The Natural, Leatherheads, Cats Don't Dance, Meet the Parents, Cold Turkey, and Seabiscuit. He has scored seven Disney-Pixar animated films; Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University, as well as Disney's The Princess and the Frog and James and the Giant Peach.
Newman has been a professional songwriter since he was 17. He cites Ray Charles as his greatest influence growing up, stating, "I loved Charles's music to excess."[9] His first single as a performer was 1962's "Golden Gridiron Boy", released when he was 18. The single flopped and Newman chose to concentrate on songwriting and arranging for the next several years.
In various interviews, Newman has credited the Fleetwoods with giving him his first national break: the trio recorded his song, "They Tell Me It's Summer", as the B-side of one of their 11 hit singles, giving Newman great exposure and royalties (piggy-backed on the sale of the Fleetwoods' 1962 hit A-side, "Lovers by Night, Strangers by Day"). Two decades later, the Fleetwoods' founder and manager, female lead vocalist/songwriter/arranger Gretchen Christopher, selected from their recordings two more of Newman's songs to be included among 10 previously unreleased masters, for their 13th album. The Fleetwoods – Buried Treasure LP and cassette, released in 1982, included Newman's "Who's Gonna Teach You About Love" and "Ask Him If He's Got a Friend for Me".
His early songs were recorded by Gene Pitney, Jerry Butler, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, the O'Jays and Irma Thomas, among others. His work as a songwriter met with particular success in the UK: top 40 UK hits written by Newman included Cilla Black's "I've Been Wrong Before" (No. 17, 1965), Gene Pitney's "Nobody Needs Your Love" (No. 2, 1966) and "Just One Smile" (No. 8, 1966); and the Alan Price Set's "Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear" (No. 4, 1967). Price, who was enjoying great success in England at the time championed Newman by featuring seven Randy Newman songs on his 1967 A Price on His Head album.
Newman has received twenty Academy Award nominations in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories and has won twice in the latter category. He has also won three Emmys, six Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002, and as a Disney Legend in 2007. Newman was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013.

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