Song of the Day #5,318: ‘Lover’s Prayer’ – Randy Newman

Our next 2013 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one of my personal musical heroes, Mr. Randy Newman. Newman first became eligible for the Hall in 1988 and was first nominated in 2005. He didn’t make the cut that year but had better luck the second time he made the ballot.

Newman reacted to the news with his usual dry sense of humor, saying “I really thought maybe I’d have to die first. I didn’t think it would happen if it didn’t happen, you know, a little earlier. But this is great. I’m really glad it happened when I was still around to see it.”

Continue reading

Song of the Day #5,314: ‘She Chose Me’ – Randy Newman

Here’s a track from Randy Newman’s most recent album, 2017’s Dark Matter. The fact that this is the first time a song from the album has appeared on the blog since its release says a lot.

Newman is notoriously slow when it comes to releasing new albums (in part because he spends a lot of time on movie scores). Dark Matter was only his fifth studio album release in the more than four decades following a rather prolific run in the 70s.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #5,209: ‘Dig a Little Deeper’ – Jennifer Lewis and The Pinnacle Gospel Choir

Randy Newman has written a lot of songs for a lot of Disney movies. He’s received eight Academy Award nominations for his Disney songs alone, winning twice (for ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ from Monsters Inc. and ‘We Belong Together’ from Toy Story 3).

All of that work is excellent, but for my money the best Randy Newman soundtrack for a Disney film belongs to 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. That’s because the content is a perfect match for Newman’s New Orleans jazz-influenced style.

Continue reading

Song of the Day #5,084: ‘Rider in the Rain’ – Randy Newman

‘Rider in the Rain’ is a lovely little country and western ditty by Randy Newman, included on his 1977 album Little Criminals. If you think this song sounds like a long lost Eagles track, that’s because Don Henley, Glenn Frey and J.D. Souther provide backing vocals.

Interviewed about Little Criminals at the time, Newman had this to say about today’s SOTD: “There’s also one about me as a cowboy called ‘Rider in the Rain’. I think it’s ridiculous. The Eagles are on there. That’s what’s good about it.”

Continue reading

Song of the Day #4,808: ‘Rednecks’ – Randy Newman

The best 1974 album I’ve written about so far, Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys was his fourth studio album and the follow-up to 1972’s brilliant Sail Away.

Good Old Boys started as a concept album about the Deep South, following a character named Johnny Cutler. Newman eventually broadened the focus to the South in general, though bits of Johnny’s story show up throughout the tracklist.

Continue reading