Randy Newman  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Randall Stuart “Randy” Newman (born November 281943) is an Academy Award–winning American songwriter, arranger, composer, singer and pianist who is notable for his mordant (and often satirical) pop songs and for his many film scores.

Newman is noted for his practice of writing lyrics from the perspective of a “character” far removed from Newman’s own biography, often using the literary device of an unreliable narrator. For example, the 1972 song "Sail Away" is written as a slave trader’s sales pitch to attract slaves, while the narrator of "Political Science" is a U.S. nationalist who complains of worldwide ingratitude toward America and proposes a brutally ironic final solution (“Let’s drop the big one”).

Little Criminals (1977) contained the surprise hit "Short People", which also became a subject of controversy, as Newman's ironic depiction of bigotry aimed at the short was taken literally by some listeners. Both the album and the single stand as the best-selling of his career. In 1978, legislation was introduced to make playing the song on the radio illegal in Maryland, though the bill failed to pass. Newman often pokes fun at the misinterpretation of his song during concerts, sarcastically announcing, "I hate short people, it's true. The reason I don't say anything is because the record label's afraid I'll tell people what I really think."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Randy Newman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools