An Evening with Randy Newman – Tickets – Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR – July 26th, 2013

An Evening with Randy Newman

Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts:

An Evening with Randy Newman

Friday, July 26, 2013

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Oregon Zoo

$28.00 - $48.00

This event is all ages

Valid for zoo admission day of show only. Rain or shine. No refunds. For additional info please visit the zoo concerts page.

Randy Newman
Randy Newman
Randy Newman Timeline:
If Randy Newman’s self-titled 1968 debut on Reprise Records, co-produced by his childhood friend Lenny Waronker and the now equally legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks, seemed out of step with the times upon its release, that’s perhaps because he had created something timeless. Newman combined sophisticated orchestrations and indelible melodies with story-song lyrics that veered between the unabashedly romantic and the sarcastically humorous. A song like “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today,” its simple words harboring heartbreaking emotion, is arguably an American standard, covered by an astonishingly wide range of artists, including Judy Collins, Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson, Nina Simone, and, most recently, Nonesuch label-mate Audra McDonald. The albums that followed—12 Songs (1970) and Sail Away (1972)—are also regarded as classics now. The Los Angeles-born Newman spent considerable time in New Orleans with his mother’s family during his childhood; his 1974 Good Old Boys is a masterful and controversial exploration of Southern culture, its history and ingrained prejudices, as well as the views and misconceptions of outsiders.
While Newman’s initial record sales were modest, his reputation among critics, fellow artists, and musicians was huge, and he enjoyed great success as a songwriter. Former Animals keyboardist Alan Price popularized his work in England and Harry Nilsson did the same in the US with his still much-admired Nilsson Sings Newman. Three Dog Night had a pop hit with “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”; Joe Cocker scored with the hilariously lascivious “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”
Newman’s own Top 40 success came with the most unlikely track, “Short People,” from the 1977 Little Criminals. Not everyone got the joke—in fact, the Maryland legislature tried to make it a crime to play “Short People” on the radio. Other pop hits were in a similarly tongue-in-cheek vein: “It’s Money That I Love” from 1979’s Born Again and “I Love L.A.” from 1983’s Trouble In Paradise.
Over the course of 40 years, Newman has released 10 albums of original studio material, along with Randy Newman Live, originally designed as a promo-only item; a recording of his musical theater adaptation of Faust; and The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 a piano-and-voice retrospective that also served as his Nonesuch debut. Since 1981, however, with his score for Ragtime, Newman has been a prolific film music composer, a regular Academy Award nominee, and, in 2002, an Oscar winner for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. Among his notable scores are The Natural, Parenthood, Awakenings, Avalon, Pleasantville and Leatherheads; Newman even shared screenwriting credit for the 1986 Steve Martin hit, Three Amigos! In recent years, he has specialized in composing for an impressive range of critically acclaimed, commercially blockbuster family films, including Toy Story, James and The Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc, and Cars. Though Newman projects the image of misanthrope in his own work, he summons tremendous warmth, tenderness, and a gentler form of humor in the songs he’s created for these movies.
Newman is also a five-time Grammy Award winner, and the recipient, in 2002, of the Recording Academy’s prestigious Governors’ Award. He has also garnered three Emmys: in 2004 for the title theme to Monk, in 1991 for songs composed for the short-lived but well-regarded musical series Cop Rock and again for Monk in 2010 for Best Original Lyrics and Music for the song When I’m Gone which appeared in the series finale.
The enduring quality and emotional depth of his work are perhaps best exemplified by “Louisiana 1927,” a song from Good Old Boys about a flood that devastated parts of Louisiana early in the 20th Century. Post-Katrina, the song was adapted by Crescent City artists like Marcia Ball and Aaron Neville as a kind of anthem, sung with as much pride as bitterness. The song became a leitmotif of the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where Newman himself delivered a bravura performance.

--Michael Hill
Venue Information:
Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Road
Portland, OR, 97221

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