Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Introduction:-->Randy Newman

"Got a gun in my holster.
Got a horse between my knees.
And I'm goin' to Arizona.
Pardon me boys if you please.
I have been a desperado
Raped and pillaged 'cross the plain
Now I'm goin' to Arizona
Just a Rider In The Rain."
Randy Newman
Sometimes we unfairly dismiss an artist simply by how we were introduced to their music. In Randy Newman's case...perhaps all you know about him...is that he's been nominated for a lame..."Best Song" Oscar nearly every year. And that he finally won.

Or maybe the only song you know by him is "Short People"...which got a little radio airplay. Or maybe...you simply weren't in the right frame of mind to hear some of the songs Randy Newman was throwing down.

In any case..I think I've listed a good choice of songs to help the newbie...get reacquainted with this "radio forgotten" genius.

I admit...when turning someone on to Randy Newman music...I almost feel it necessary to offer up a caveat emptor as I hand over a disc.

To me...Newman music is best enjoyed late in the evening...alone...with a beverage of your choice. And that is NOT a slam on his music at all. A lot of Randy Newman music is meant to be shared with shadows...and private thoughts. Time well spent.

Randy Newman songs are often filled with enough cynicism and anger and sarcastic political and social comments to fill a tear bucket. Plenty of tongue-in-cheek...and plenty of truthful sound bites....float deceivingly over beautiful melodies and oft-times biting piano.

Think of Randy Newman as the ...Mark Twain...of American music...'cause he easily provides enough food-for-thought to keep any listener busy for a long, long while.

Truly an unfairly neglected and misunderstood songwriter.

Here are ten of "my" favorite Randy Newman songs I recommend to friends.
  1. "I'll Be Home" - (Little Criminals)
  2. "Louisiana 1927" - (Good Old Boys)
  3. "It's Money That Matters" - (Land Of Dreams)
  4. "Political Science" - (Sail Away)
  5. "The Blues" - (Trouble In Paradise)
  6. "I Want You To Hurt Like I Do" - (Land Of Dreams)
  7. "Baltimore" - (Little Criminals)
  8. "I'm Different" - (Trouble In Paradise)
  9. "Rider In The Rain" - (Little Criminals)
  10. "You Can Leave Your Hat On" - (Sail Away)
Hopefully you'll seek these songs out and then investigate deeper into his catalog.

ATTENTION: Randy Newman...Please come to Kansas.

Casey

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey Casey, great writing. You have a way with words. I never really thought of Randy Newman as someone to lesson to along with but you are right. He is kinda like that, deep, kinda like a trouble person would be but nothing like that. Anyway this "Introduction" as you call it made me think of the times sitting with my dad lessening to CCR band and watching him play the guitar. I think you, for those are the memories I don't remember that often and had forgotten about until now. Keep up the writing Casey. see ya at work sometime
RED

S.D. said...

Good luck with the Kansas plea. I'm Randy's web guy and I was born and raised in Kansas. Alas, I moved from Lawrence to Chicago last year. A few months after I moved, Randy played in Chicago. Coincidence?

Good luck, also, with the evangelism. Newbies need all the help they can get. Maybe you can make more headway than I have in the last 30 years.

Casey said...

Thanks for dropping by. Most of my favorite artists...tend to bypass Kansas. A shame.
I hope to visit Wrigley Field one day soon...as I watch the Cubbies regularly. Chicago seems to be a melting pot for musicians....And comedians.
If you can pass on my request for Randy to perform in this neglected state (Kansas). A large turnout will be guaranteed, I'm sure.

S.D. said...

I've been asking Randy to drop by Kansas since I met him in the middle of 2000. He claims he "couldn't fill a phone booth in Kansas" ... and he might be right. For a while, I was considering playing the role of impressario and bankrolling a Randy visit to Lawrence (Liberty Hall). So I started asking around Lawrence ... the blue dot in the otherwise red sea of Kansas politics. I got an enthusiastic response from maybe one person, a number of lukewarm nods and a dispiriting number of "who is Randy Newman"s. Randy's been around a while, so maybe he's right?

I'd start agitating for Randy dollars with your local arts councils. Maybe they can get something going at Century II. Dart over to Wichita State and see if they would underwrite a visit to their beautiful campus. Heck, try Friends University (but don't tell them about "Old Man"). THe more help you can marshall, the better.

Casey said...

I always thought...the Wichita Orpheum...would be ideal for his debut. And
I do contact venues...college and otherwise...to bring in artists...that
traditionally are ignored by the media. What could hopefully become a
tradition...in much the same way...as Austin CL.
In the meantime...I am not adverse to taking a roadtrip...if RN would just get close.