Randy Newman

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Randy Newman
Randy Newman HWOF Aug 2012 (levels adjusted).jpg
Newman in 2012
Background information
Birth nameRandall Stuart Newman
Born (1943-11-28) November 28, 1943 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
  • Singer-songwriter [4]
  • arranger
  • pianist
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar
Years active1961–present
Associated acts Lyle Lovett
Website randynewman.com

Randall Stuart Newman (born November 28, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, arranger, composer, and pianist known for his Southern-accented singing style, early Americana-influenced songs (often with mordant or satirical lyrics), and various film scores. [5] His best-known songs as a recording artist are "Short People" (1977), "I Love L.A." (1983), and "You've Got a Friend in Me" (1995), while other artists have enjoyed more success with cover versions of his "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (1966), "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" (1968) and "You Can Leave Your Hat On" (1972).


Born in Los Angeles to an extended family of Hollywood film composers, Newman began his songwriting career at the age of 17, penning hits for acts such as the Fleetwoods, Cilla Black, Gene Pitney, and the Alan Price Set. In 1968, he made his formal debut as a solo artist with the album Randy Newman , produced by Lenny Waronker and Van Dyke Parks. Four of Newman's non-soundtrack albums have charted in the US top 40: Sail Away (1972), Good Old Boys (1974), Little Criminals (1977), and Harps and Angels (2008).

Since the 1980s, Newman has worked mostly as a film composer. He has scored nine Disney-Pixar animated films, including all four Toy Story films (1995–2019), A Bug's Life (1998), both Monsters, Inc. films (2001–2013), and the first and third Cars films (2006, 2017), as well as Disney's James and the Giant Peach (1996) and The Princess and the Frog (2009). His other film scores include Ragtime (1981), The Natural (1984), Awakenings (1990), Pleasantville (1998), Meet the Parents (2000), Seabiscuit (2003), and Marriage Story (2019).

Newman has received twenty-two Academy Award nominations in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories and has won twice in the latter category, contributing to the Newmans being the most nominated Academy Award extended family, with a collective 92 nominations in various music categories. He has also won three Emmys, seven Grammy Awards and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. [6] In 2007, he was recognized by the Walt Disney Company as a Disney Legend. [7] He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. [8]

Early life and education

Newman was born to a Jewish family on November 28, 1943, his father's 30th birthday, [9] in Los Angeles. He is the son of Adele "Dixie" (née Fuchs/Fox; August 30, 1916 – October 4, 1988), a secretary, and Irving George Newman (November 28, 1913 – February 1, 1990), an internist. [10] He lived in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a small child and spent summers there until he was 11 years old, when his family returned to Los Angeles. The paternal side of his family includes grandparents Luba (née Koskoff) (July 21, 1883 – March 3, 1954) and Michael Newman (Nemorofsky) (1874–1948), and three uncles who were Hollywood film-score composers: Alfred Newman, Lionel Newman and Emil Newman. [11] Newman's cousins, Thomas, Maria, David and Joey, are also composers for motion pictures. He graduated from University High School in Los Angeles. He studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles, but dropped out one semester shy of a B.A. [12]

Newman's parents were nonobservant Jews. Newman is an atheist. [13] [14] He has said that religion or any sense of religious identity was completely absent in his childhood. To illustrate this, he has often recounted in interviews an antisemitic incident that occurred when he was young: he was invited by a classmate to be her date to a cotillion at her Los Angeles country club. He accepted the invitation but was subsequently disinvited by the girl's father, who told Newman that his daughter should never have invited him because Jews were not allowed at the country club. Newman hung up the phone, then went to ask his own father what a "Jew" was. [15] [16] [17]


Newman playing piano in 1972 Randy Newman (1972).png
Newman playing piano in 1972


Newman has been a professional songwriter since he was 17. He cites Ray Charles as his greatest influence growing up, stating, "I loved Charles' music to excess." [18] His first single as a performer was 1962's "Golden Gridiron Boy", released when he was 18. [19] The single flopped and Newman chose to concentrate on songwriting and arranging for the next several years.

An early writing credit was "They Tell Me It's Summer", used as the b-side of the Fleetwoods 1962 single, "Lovers by Night, Strangers by Day", which led to further commissions from the Fleetwoods and also Pat Boone. [20] Other early songs were recorded by Gene Pitney, Jerry Butler, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, the O'Jays, and Irma Thomas, among others. His work as a songwriter met with particular success in the UK: top 40 UK hits written by Newman included Cilla Black's "I've Been Wrong Before" (No. 17, 1965), Gene Pitney's "Nobody Needs Your Love" (No. 2, 1966) and "Just One Smile" (No. 8, 1966); and the Alan Price Set's "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear" (No. 4, 1967). Price, an English keyboardist who was enjoying great success at the time, championed Newman by featuring seven Randy Newman songs on his 1967 A Price on His Head album.

In the mid-1960s, Newman kept a close musical relationship with the band Harpers Bizarre, best known for their 1967 hit version of the Paul Simon composition "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)". The band recorded six Newman compositions, including "Simon Smith" and "Happyland," during their short initial career (1967–1969).

In this period, Newman began a long professional association with childhood friend Lenny Waronker. Waronker had been hired to produce the Tikis, the Beau Brummels and the Mojo Men, who were all contracted to the Los Angeles independent label Autumn Records. He in turn brought in Newman, Leon Russell and another friend, pianist/arranger Van Dyke Parks, to play on recording sessions. Later in 1966, Waronker was hired as an A&R manager by Warner Bros. Records and his friendship with Newman, Russell and Parks began a creative circle around Waronker at Warner Bros. that became one of the keys to Warner Bros.' subsequent success as a rock music label. [21]

In the 1970s, Newman co-wrote with Jake Holmes the "Most Original Soft Drink Ever" jingle for Dr Pepper. [22]

In 2011, Newman endorsed jazz singer Roseanna Vitro's album, The Randy Newman Project (Motéma Music, 2011). [23]

In 2020, Newman wrote a song called “Stay Away” to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The song can be downloaded and proceeds go to the Ellis Marsalis Center to support underserved children in New Orleans’ 9th District. [24]

Newman's song compositions are represented by Downtown Music Publishing. [25]

Recording artist

His 1968 debut album, Randy Newman , was a critical success but never entered the Billboard Top 200. Many artists, including Barbra Streisand, Helen Reddy, Bette Midler, Alan Price, Van Dyke Parks, Dave Van Ronk, Judy Collins, Cass Elliot, Art Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers, Claudine Longet, Bonnie Raitt, Dusty Springfield, Tom Odell, Nina Simone, Lynn Anderson, Wilson Pickett, Pat Boone Neil Diamond and Peggy Lee, covered his songs and "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" became an early standard.

In 1969, he did the orchestral arrangements for the songs "Minstrel of the Dawn" and "Approaching Lavender" on Gordon Lightfoot's Sit Down Young Stranger (aka If You Could Read My Mind) (1970), and for Peggy Lee's single "Is That All There Is?", as well as her album with the same title (which also contained her cover versions of two of his songs: "Love Story" and "Linda"). [26] Also in 1969 he recorded "Gone Dead Train" for the 1970 movie and soundtrack album to Performance, starring Mick Jagger.

In 1970, Harry Nilsson recorded an entire album of Newman compositions (Newman played piano) called Nilsson Sings Newman. The album was not a commercial success, but critics liked it (it won a "Record of the Year" award from Stereo Review magazine), and it paved the way for Newman's 1970 release, 12 Songs , a more stripped-down sound that showcased Newman's piano. Ry Cooder's slide guitar and contributions from Byrds members Gene Parsons and Clarence White helped to give the album a much rootsier feel. 12 Songs was also critically acclaimed (6th best album of the seventies according to Rolling Stone critic Robert Christgau), but again found little commercial success, though Three Dog Night made a huge hit of his "Mama Told Me Not to Come". The following year, Randy Newman Live cemented his cult following and became his first LP to appear in the Billboard charts, at No. 191. Newman also made his first foray into music for films at this time, writing and performing the theme song "He Gives Us All His Love" for Norman Lear's 1971 film Cold Turkey.

1972's Sail Away reached No. 163 on Billboard, with the title track making its way into the repertoire of Ray Charles and Linda Ronstadt. "You Can Leave Your Hat On" which was covered by Three Dog Night, then Joe Cocker, and later by Keb Mo, Etta James, Tom Jones (whose version was later used for the final striptease to the 1997 film The Full Monty ), and the Québécois singer Garou. The album also featured "Burn On", an ode to an infamous incident in which the heavily polluted Cuyahoga River literally caught fire. In 1989, "Burn On" was used as the opening theme to the film Major League , whose focus was the hapless Cleveland Indians.

His 1974 release Good Old Boys was a set of songs about the American South. "Rednecks" began with a description of segregationist Lester Maddox pitted against a "smart-ass New York Jew" on a TV show (this was a joke, because the "Jew" was Dick Cavett), in a song that criticizes both southern racism and the complacent bigotry of Americans outside of the south who stereotype all southerners as racist yet ignore racism in northern and midwestern states and large cities. This ambiguity was also apparent on "Kingfish" and "Every Man a King", the former a paean to Huey Long (the assassinated former Governor and United States Senator from Louisiana), the other a campaign song written by Long himself. An album that received lavish critical praise, Good Old Boys also became a commercial breakthrough for Newman, peaking at No. 36 on Billboard 200, spending 21 weeks there.

Little Criminals (1977) contained the surprise hit "Short People", which also became a subject of controversy. In September 1977, the British music magazine NME reported the following interview with Newman talking about his then-new release. "There's one song about a child murderer," Newman deadpans. "That's fairly optimistic. Maybe. There's one called 'Jolly Coppers on Parade' which isn't an absolutely anti-police song. Maybe it's even a fascist song. I didn't notice at the time. 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. There's also this song 'Short People.' It's purely a joke. I like other ones on the album better but the audiences go for that one." [27] The album proved Newman's most popular to date, reaching No. 9 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Another somewhat controversial Randy Newman number, recorded by both Harpers Bizarre and The Nashville Teens, was "The Biggest Night of Her Life", a song about a schoolgirl who is "too excited to sleep" because she has promised to lose her virginity on her sixteenth birthday to a boy whom her parents like "because his hair is always neat".

1979's Born Again featured a song satirically mythologizing the Electric Light Orchestra (and their arranging style) titled "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band".

His 1983 album Trouble in Paradise included the single "I Love L.A.", a song that has been interpreted as both praising and criticizing the city of Los Angeles. This ambivalence is borne out by Newman's own comments on the song. As he explained in a 2001 interview, "There's some kind of ignorance L.A. has that I'm proud of. The open car and the redhead, the Beach Boys  ... I can't think of anything a hell of a lot better than that." The ABC network and Frank Gari Productions transformed "I Love L.A." into a popular 1980s TV promotional campaign, retooling the lyrics and title to "You'll Love It!" (on ABC) The song is played at home games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Los Angeles Kings who use the song along with their goal horn. In spite of its prominence, however, it failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1985 Newman performed a set at the first Farm Aid concert that included a duet with Billy Joel on facing grand pianos. Newman performed "Sail Away".

In 2003 Newman's song "It's a Jungle Out There" was used for season 2 of the USA Network's show Monk; it won him the 2004 Emmy Award for Best Main Title Music.

In the years following Trouble in Paradise, Newman focused more on film work, but his personal life entered a difficult period. He separated from his wife of nearly 20 years, Roswitha, and was diagnosed with Epstein–Barr virus. He released four albums of new material as a singer-songwriter since that time: Land of Dreams (1988), Bad Love (1999), Harps and Angels (2008), and Dark Matter (2017). Land of Dreams included one of his best-known songs, "It's Money That Matters", and featured Newman's first stab at autobiography with "Dixie Flyer" and "Four Eyes", while Bad Love included "I Miss You", a moving tribute to his ex-wife [28] (In an interview with Glenn Tilbrook, half of the writing partnership of English pop band Squeeze, to promote the album, probably on BBC Radio, Newman acknowledged that "I Miss You" was written for his ex-wife. When asked by Tilbrook how his current wife felt about this, Newman said that though he had always been obedient to his wives in most things there was one area in which he did as he chose; "I write what I write", he said.)[ citation needed ] He has also rerecorded a number of songs that span his career, accompanying himself on piano, with The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1 (2003), The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2 (2011) and The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 3 (2016). He continues to perform his songs before live audiences as a touring concert artist.

Newman performing at the 2014 Laurence L. & Thomas Winship/PEN New England Award for Songwriting ceremony Randy Newman, 2014.jpg
Newman performing at the 2014 Laurence L. & Thomas Winship/PEN New England Award for Songwriting ceremony

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Newman's "Louisiana 1927" became an anthem and was played heavily on a wide range of American radio and television stations, in both Newman's 1974 original and Aaron Neville's cover version of the song. The song addresses the deceitful manner in which New Orleans's municipal government managed a flood in 1927, during which, as Newman asserts, "The guys who ran the Mardi Gras, the bosses in New Orleans decided the course of that flood. You know, they cut a hole in the levee and it flooded the cotton fields." [29] In a related performance, Newman contributed to the 2007 release of Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard), contributing his version of Domino's "Blue Monday". Domino had been rescued from his New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina, initially having been feared dead.

In October 2016, Newman released the song "Putin". The Washington Post wrote: "inspired by the Russian leader's penchant for bare-chested photo ops and a geopolitical approach that's somewhat short of soft and cuddly, Newman has crafted a song that tells Putin's story from multiple perspectives." [30] Newman explained that the song was from a new album that would be released in 2017, but he was putting out this song early because "I think that people will lose interest after this surfeit of political talk and attention after the election.... I've got the thing done. I just want to see what happens. I'm curious to see how the thing is received." [30] The song earned Newman a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals. [31]

Newman released his much anticipated new album, Dark Matter in August 2017. It received positive reviews, many citing its musical ambition as well as its lyrical bite.

Film composer

Newman's earliest scoring work was for television, creating background music for a 1962 episode of TV's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis , and later working briefly on the 1960s TV shows Lost in Space , Peyton Place , and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and more extensively on Judd For The Defense . [32] In 1966, an album of Newman's Peyton Place music appeared, credited to The Randy Newman Orchestra. Newman claims to have been unaware of the album's existence at the time of release, and does not include it in the official "complete discography" on his website. He also co-wrote the title song for the 1970 drama Cover Me Babe. The recording was performed by Bread.

Newman also co-wrote pop songs for films as early as 1964, co-penning "Look At Me" with Bobby Darin for The Lively Set (1964), and "Galaxy-a-Go-Go, or Leave It To Flint" with Jerry Goldsmith for Our Man Flint (1966). However, Newman's work as a composer of actual film scores began with Norman Lear's 1971 satire Cold Turkey . He returned to film work with 1981's Ragtime , for which he was nominated for two Academy Awards. Newman co-wrote the 1986 film Three Amigos with Steve Martin and Lorne Michaels, wrote three songs for the film, and provided the voice for the singing bush. His orchestral film scores resemble the work of Elmer Bernstein (with whom he worked on Three Amigos) and Maurice Jarre.

Newman has scored nine Disney/Pixar feature films; Toy Story , A Bug's Life , Toy Story 2 , Monsters, Inc. , Cars , Toy Story 3 , Monsters University , Cars 3 , and Toy Story 4 . [33] He has earned at least one Academy Award nomination for six of the nine films he has scored for Pixar, winning the award for Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 3 , both times in the category of Best Original Song. Additional scores by Newman include Avalon , Parenthood , James and the Giant Peach , Seabiscuit , Awakenings , The Paper , Meet the Parents , and its sequel, Meet the Fockers . His score for Pleasantville was an Academy Award nominee. He also wrote the songs for Turner's Cats Don't Dance .

Newman had the dubious distinction of receiving the most Oscar nominations (15) without a single win. His losing streak was broken when he received the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2002, for the Monsters, Inc. song "If I Didn't Have You", beating Sting, Enya and Paul McCartney. After receiving a standing ovation, a bemused but emotional Newman began his acceptance speech with "I don't want your pity!" When the orchestra began playing the underscore signifying that the speaker's time on stage is concluding, Newman ordered them to stop before thanking "all these musicians, many of whom have worked for me a number of times and may not again."

Besides writing songs for films, he also writes songs for television series such as the Emmy Award-winning theme song of Monk , "It's a Jungle Out There". Newman also composed the Emmy Award-winning song "When I'm Gone" for the final episode.

Newman wrote the music for Walt Disney Animation Studios' The Princess and the Frog . During Disney's annual shareholder meeting in March 2007, Newman performed a new song written for the movie. He was accompanied by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The New Orleans setting of the film played to Newman's musical strengths, and his songs contained elements of Cajun music, zydeco, blues and Dixieland jazz. [34] Two of the songs, "Almost There" and "Down in New Orleans", were nominated for Oscars. [35]

In total, Newman has received 22 Academy Award nominations with two wins, both for Best Original Song. While accepting the award for "We Belong Together" in 2011, he joked "my percentages aren't great." [36]

Musical theatre

A revue of Newman's songs, titled Maybe I'm Doing It Wrong, was performed at the Astor Place Theatre in New York City in 1982, and later at other theaters around the country. The New York cast featured Mark Linn-Baker and Deborah Rush, [37] and at one point included Treat Williams. [38]

In the 1990s, Newman adapted Goethe's Faust into a concept album and musical, Randy Newman's Faust . After a 1995 staging at the La Jolla Playhouse, he retained David Mamet to help rework the book before its relaunch on the Chicago Goodman Theatre mainstage in 1996. Newman's Faust had a one-time performance at the City Center in New York City on July 1, 2014. [39]

In 2000, South Coast Repertory (SCR) produced The Miseducation of Randy Newman, a musical theater piece that recreates the life of a songwriter who bears some resemblance to the actual Newman. Set in New Orleans and Los Angeles, it was modeled on the American autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams .

In 2010, the Center Theatre Group staged Harps and Angels, a musical revue of the Randy Newman songbook, interspersed with narratives reflecting on Newman's inspirations. The revue premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and included among other songs "I Think It's Going to Rain Today", "Sail Away", "Marie", "Louisiana 1927", "Feels Like Home", "You've Got a Friend in Me" and "I Love L.A". The revue was directed by Jerry Zaks and featured Ryder Bach, Storm Large, Adriane Lenox, Michael McKean, Katey Sagal and Matthew Saldivar. [40]

Personal life

Newman was married to German-born Roswitha Schmale from 1967 to 1985, and they had three sons, [41] Eric Newman, Amos Newman and John Newman. [42] He has been married to Gretchen Preece since 1990, with whom he has two children, Patrick Newman and Alice Newman. Gretchen's father is director Michael Preece. [43]

Newman endorsed Democratic President Barack Obama for reelection in 2012 and wrote a satirical song about voting for white candidates. [44]

Awards and honors

Newman has been nominated for 22 Academy Awards, winning it two times – Best Original Song in 2002 for "If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters, Inc. , and Best Original Song in 2011 for "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 . He has received three Emmys, seven Grammy Awards, and the Governor's Award from the Recording Academy. [6] Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. [45] In 2007, he was inducted as a Disney Legend. [7] In 2010, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Newman was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. [8] In September 2014, Randy Newman received a Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award and performed at the annual film music gala Hollywood in Vienna for the first time together with his cousin David Newman.

Academy Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982 Ragtime Best Original Score Nominated
"One More Hour" (from Ragtime ) Best Original Song Nominated
1985 The Natural Best Original ScoreNominated
1990 "I Love to See You Smile" (from Parenthood )Best Original SongNominated
1991 Avalon Best Original ScoreNominated
1995 "Make Up Your Mind" (from The Paper )Best Original SongNominated
1996 Toy Story Best Original Musical or Comedy Score Nominated
"You've Got a Friend in Me" (from Toy Story )Best Original SongNominated
1997 James and the Giant Peach Best Original Musical or Comedy Score Nominated
1999 Pleasantville Best Original Dramatic Score Nominated
A Bug's Life Best Original Musical or Comedy Score Nominated
"That'll Do" (from Babe: Pig in the City )Best Original SongNominated
2000 "When She Loved Me" (from Toy Story 2 )Nominated
2001 "A Fool in Love" (from Meet The Parents )Nominated
2002 Monsters, Inc. Best Original ScoreNominated
"If I Didn't Have You" (from Monsters, Inc. )Best Original SongWon
2007 "Our Town" (from Cars )Nominated
2010 "Almost There" (from The Princess and the Frog )Nominated
"Down in New Orleans" (from The Princess and the Frog )Nominated
2011 "We Belong Together" (from Toy Story 3 )Won
2020 "I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away" (from Toy Story 4 )Nominated
Marriage Story Best Original ScoreNominated

Annie Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1996 Toy Story Music in an Animated Feature Production Won
James and the Giant Peach Nominated
1997 Cats Don't Dance Won
2000 Toy Story 2 Won
2002 Monsters, Inc. Nominated
2006 Cars Won
2013 Monsters University Nominated
2019 Toy Story 4 Nominated


YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982 "One More Hour" (from Ragtime )Best Original SongNominated

Chicago Film Critics Association Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1995 Toy Story Best Original Score Won
1996 James and the Giant Peach Nominated
1998 A Bug's Life Nominated

Critics' Choice Movie Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2009 The Princess and the Frog Best Score Nominated
"Almost There" (from The Princess and the Frog ) Best Song Nominated
2010 "We Belong Together" (from Toy Story 3 )Nominated
2019 Marriage Story Best ScoreNominated

Golden Globe Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982 "One More Hour" (from Ragtime ) Best Original Song Nominated
1990 "I Love to See You Smile" (from Parenthood )Nominated
1991 Avalon Best Original Score Nominated
1996 "You've Got a Friend in Me" (from Toy Story )Best Original SongNominated
1999 A Bug's Life Best Original ScoreNominated
2000 "When She Loved Me" (from Toy Story 2 )Best Original SongNominated
2020 Marriage Story Best Original ScoreNominated

Grammy Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1970 "Is That All There Is?" (by Peggy Lee) Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Nominated
1983 Ragtime Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special Nominated
1985 The Natural Best Instrumental Composition Won [lower-alpha 1]
"The Natural" (from The Natural ) Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nominated
1990 "I Love to See You Smile" (from Parenthood ) Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television Nominated
1992 Avalon Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television Nominated
Awakenings Nominated
1997 "Long Tall Texan" (with Lyle Lovett) Best Country Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
2000 "The Time of Your Life" (from A Bug's Life ) Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Nominated
A Bug's Life Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Won
2001 Toy Story 2 Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Nominated
"When She Loved Me" (from Toy Story 2 ) Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Won
2003 Monsters, Inc. Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaNominated
"If I Didn't Have You" (from Monsters, Inc. )Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaWon
"The Ride of the Doors" (from Monsters, Inc. )Best Instrumental CompositionNominated
2004 "Seabiscuit" (from Seabiscuit )Best Pop Instrumental PerformanceNominated
Seabiscuit Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaNominated
2007 Cars Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television or Other Visual Media Nominated
"Our Town" (from Cars )Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaWon
2011 Toy Story 3 Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaWon
"Down in New Orleans" (from The Princess and the Frog )Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual MediaNominated
2018 "Putin" Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals Won
2020 "The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" (from Toy Story 4 ) Best Song Written for Visual Media Nominated

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1981 "One More Hour" (from Ragtime )Best Music ScoreWon

Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2014Randy Newman Max Steiner Film Music Achievement Award Honored

Online Film Critics Society Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1998 Pleasantville Best Original ScoreWon

Primetime Emmy Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1991 "He's Guilty!" (from Cop Rock ) Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Won
2004 "It's a Jungle Out There" (from Monk ) Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Won
2010 "When I'm Gone" (from Monk )Outstanding Original Music and LyricsWon

Satellite Award

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2019 Marriage Story Best Original Score Nominated
"The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" (from Toy Story 4 ) Best Original Song Nominated

Songwriters Hall of Fame

2002 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inducted


Studio albums

Film scores


  1. Tied with John Williams for "Olympic Fanfare and Theme".

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I Love L.A. 1983 song by Randy Newman

"I Love L.A." is a song by Randy Newman. It was originally released on his 1983 album Trouble in Paradise. The song is about Los Angeles, California, and its hook is its title, repeated, each time followed by an enthusiastic crowd cheering, "We love it!"

"If I Didn't Have You" is a song written by singer-songwriter Randy Newman, that appears during the end credits of the 2001 Disney·Pixar animated film, Monsters, Inc. Sung by John Goodman and Billy Crystal, the song won the 2001 Academy Award for Best Original Song. This was Newman's first Oscar. Previously, Newman had been nominated fifteen times in the Best Score and Best Song categories, but had never won. Arguably "the film's lone song", the tune serves as the major motif for the film.

Charles Randolph Goodrum is an American songwriter, pianist, and producer. A Grammy award-nominated writer and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Goodrum has written #1 songs in each of the four decades since his first #1 hit, 1978's "You Needed Me."

<i>Toy Story</i> (soundtrack) 1995 soundtrack album by Randy Newman

Toy Story is the soundtrack album for the 1995 Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story, with music composed, conducted, and performed by Randy Newman. The soundtrack includes the film score, as well as three original songs written and performed by Newman. It was released by Walt Disney Records on November 22, 1995, the week of the film's release, and the first soundtrack album from a Pixar film.

<i>The Princess and the Frog</i> (soundtrack) 2009 soundtrack album by Various Artists

The Princess and the Frog: Original Songs and Score is the soundtrack of the 2009 Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog. It was released by Walt Disney Records on November 23, 2009, just a day before the limited release of the film in New York City and Los Angeles. It contains ten original songs and seven score pieces, all but one of which were composed, arranged and conducted by composer Randy Newman, who previously worked with the film's executive producer John Lasseter on Pixar's films Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Cars. "Never Knew I Needed" was written and performed by Ne-Yo. The song had an accompanying music video which featured rotation on Disney Channel. The song was also sent to rhythmic radio on October 27, 2009. The songs are performed by various artists most of which lend their voices to characters in the film. The score features African-American-influenced styles including jazz, zydeco, blues and gospel.

We Belong Together (Randy Newman song) 2010 single by Randy Newman

"We Belong Together" is a song written, composed and performed by Randy Newman for the 2010 film Toy Story 3. The song was nominated for several Best Original Song awards from various film society and awards committees. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 83rd Academy Awards in February 2011.

"When She Loved Me" is a song written by Randy Newman for Pixar's animated film Toy Story 2 (1999), and recorded by Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan. The song reveals the backstory of Jessie, a toy cowgirl, as she reflects upon her defunct relationship with her original owner, by whom she was outgrown. Heard in the film during a flashback sequence, the filmmakers decided to incorporate a song into the montage during which Jessie details her backstory to Woody after multiple attempts to show the character relaying her experience verbally proved unsuccessful.

Guy Erez

Guy Erez is a Los Angeles-based songwriter/producer, composer and virtuoso bass player. Born and raised in Israel, Erez moved to Los Angeles in 1992. His songs have appeared in hit movies and TV shows including the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Crash, Grey's Anatomy and Beverly Hills 90210. He is a songwriter and producer on the theme to the Marvel/Disney series The Avengers and has worked with artists such as Gipsy Kings, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, Ziggy Marley and Alan Parsons.

<i>Brave</i> (soundtrack) 2012 film score by Patrick Doyle

Brave is the soundtrack to the 2012 Disney-Pixar film of the same name composed by Patrick Doyle and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack features Doyle's musical score and features two original songs performed by Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, and one original song performed by Birdy and Mumford & Sons. Walt Disney Records released the soundtrack on both CD album and digital download on June 19, 2012.

The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy 2019 promotional single by Chris Stapleton

"The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy" is song written and composed by Randy Newman, and performed by Chris Stapleton, for the soundtrack of the Disney/Pixar feature film Toy Story 4. The song was released as a single on June 5, 2019, and was met with a positive reception from critics.

Jay Landers is an American record producer, songwriter, A&R executive, music publisher and writer of liner notes best known for his work with Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and Hilary Duff. Landers has worked with Barbra Streisand for 30 years and executive produced 26 of her albums. Landers was co-writer and music supervisor of the Netflix Barbra Streisand documentary “Barbra: The Music ... The Mem’ries ... The Magic!” and appears in the film.


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Further reading