Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"'Radio Earlo' - Part Three"

I’ve been buying Randy Newman’s records for forty years, and attending his club shows and theatrical concerts for thirty-five.  I was there when he first sang, to an explosive audience reaction,

“We’re rednecks, we’re rednecks
 We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground…”

And also when he introduced the equally inflammatory

“Short people have no reason, short people have no reason,
 Short people have no reason
 To li-ive…”

Randy Newman is smart, he is funny, he is satirical, he is subversive, he can write a mean Toy Story theme song, he’s an inspired composer – check out The Natural film score – and he can also be tender, although, frequently, darkly so. 

This is one of his earlier efforts. 

It can still put me in a mood.  (Or, perhaps, reinforce the mood I am perennially in.)

Give a listen.

Oh.  I know tomorrow is a big holiday.  But if you have a moment, check out my Christmas Day “Radio Earlo – Part Four.” 

I think you’ll be happy you did.


pumpkinhead said...

That's a great song, and it makes me think about one of my desert island songs:


and a bonus desert island, for a change of pace:


JED said...

Randy Newman is one of my favorites, too. I heard his songs long before I heard him perform. I heard most of his songs when others covered them like "I Think It's Going to Rain Today", by Neil Diamond of all people, "Sail Away", by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and of course "Mama Told Me Not to Come", by Three Dog Night. Finally, I had to see who was writing all these evocative songs and heard him perform "Texas Girl at the Funeral of her Father" and I was hooked. Then seeing "The Natural" with that incredible sound track - how he could have only won two Oscars, six Grammies and no Golden Globes is beyond me. His music and words are like paintings in sound.

It's funny, though. He is so good you want the whole world to hear him and like him but then it wouldn't be so special to be his fan. I like him and the situation just the way it is.

Jim Dodd

I'm Your Man said...

Like JED, I too wondered who was writing all those songs that others seemed to make hits out of. I like Newman (loved the video version of You Can Leave Your Hat On from the flick, 9 1/2 Weeks), and the theme from Monk always makes me laugh.

But in the singer-songwriter category - and this is a tough one - I go with Leonard Cohen. Choosing just one of his songs? My fave is "Hallelujah." Gotta be one the great songs of all time and that Leonard is still touring and singing all his great numbers is somehow reassuring.