Newman, Randy

Newman, Randy

(1943–  ) composer, lyricist; born in Los Angeles, Calif. The nephew of three successful Hollywood composers and conductors, he began studying the piano at age seven and was writing songs professionally when he was 17. After letting others such as Judy Collins, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Joni Mitchell sing his songs, he took to performing at colleges and night clubs in the late 1960s and earned a reputation for both his inimitable piano/vocal style, which combined the casual with highly mannered effects, and for his lyrics, which sardonically dissected politics and society. He composed film scores such as Cold Turkey (1970), Ragtime (1981), and The Natural (1984), and released several popular albums including Sail Away (1972) and Little Criminals (1978). A revue based on his songs played in various theaters between 1981–84 and he performed his old and new songs occasionally.