Randy Newman's American Dreams
Among his peers, Randy Newman is considered one of the most respected singer-songwriters in contemporary American music. For over 40 years, he has composed a variety of hits for artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Three Dog Night, and Tom Jones. In 1997, Newman caused controversy with the chart-topping Short People,” wrote the stage musical Faust, and became a successful composer for such acclaimed films as The Natural, Avalon, Toy Story, and Monsters Inc. Yet, despite his vast body of work, Newman is still far from being a household name.
This book examines why this enigmatic, audacious composer has been so largely unacknowledged and misunderstood by listeners and fans alike. With detailed precision, Courrier delves into the reasons for Newman’s peripheral status on the cultural landscape, suggesting that, at heart, he has always been a musical outsider and built a career in the mainstream by donning a brilliant disguise. This is an illuminating portrait of the artist as a masked man an Artful Dodger taking readers on an equivocal voyage up through the streams and tributaries of a vast and sometimes tragically complex American domain.
Kevin Courrier is a writer/broadcaster and film critic at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Courrier has also written about film and pop culture in Box Office, the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star.