Two For Tuesday: Randy Newman

Continuing our series on songwriters who have written song that Three Dog Night sang, today we look at Randy Newman. Three Dog Night had their first #1 with Randy’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” in 1970, and also recorded his “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” (Tom Jones’s version of that song was the finale for the movie The Full Monty.)

Randy’s a prolific composer; his songs have been recorded by the likes of Ray Charles, Bette Midler, Dave Van Ronk, Judy Collins, The Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, and Peggy Lee. He’s scored twenty-five films and earned two Oscars (for “We Belong Together” from the soundtrack of Toy Story and “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters Inc.) and six Grammys, among other awards (Wikipedia’s list is here). Sadly, he’s earned all of his awards for his work after 1981, even though he’s been active as a performer since 1967 and as a songwriter since he was seventeen. I recommend you look at his official website, which has the details of his career and a timeline of his awards. He’s also on Twitter and Facebook (where he’s promoting his mailing list).

Randy wrote and performed “It’s A Jungle Out There,” the theme song used in all but the first season of Monk, which starred Tony Shalhoub and ran originally on the USA Network in the US from 2002 through 2009. He sings it here with the help of Vienna’s Radio Symphonic Orchestra/

Randy’s third album was 1972’s Sail Away. Its title track was an imagined sales pitch from an American slave trader to potential slaves. The whole album is excellent; I had a vinyl copy until recently.

Randy Newman, your Two for Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

3 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Randy Newman

  1. I am so glad you are featuring his serious music and reminding us of Randy Newman’s creative and musical talent, John! Smiles, Robin


    1. He wrote some fantastic music, and there was a touch of his sardonic wit and mordant humor in all of it. A guy who can write such serious songs and inject his humor in them is a tremendous songwriter. Listen to the album “Sail Away” — it’s disturbingly hilarious.


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