This week I’ve been looking at some pretty famous songwriters who achieved fame for their populist style of singing and their unusual songs, Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez for example. Today my choice is Randy Newman. He’s one of our great American songwriters, but what I most admire about him is his choice of subject matter. It tends to be something specific. Something quirky, or a part of the human heart that usually doesn’t get discussed. He also has a killer sense of humor. I find his songs narrative, with telling harmonies and and simple melodies. Here he is in “Losing You.” It’s a conventional thing to sing about. But it isn’t about a lost love. It’s about the possibility of losing your love. Randy gets the human condition and sings about it with love.
Randy Newman: Losing You
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Michael Barrett is the co-founder and associate artistic director of New York Festival of Song, as well as the co-founder and music director of the Moab Music Festival in Utah. A conductor and a pianist, Michael was a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and serves as music advisor to the Leonard Bernstein Estate.