I’m only quoting Randy Newman.
23 years ago I was in a studio working on the first album I ever made. Jon Kelly, the producer, and I had a conversation about Randy Newman. Jon said, “Let’s have a Randy Newman night some time.” I imagined this. There would be a fire lit and one b one we would unsheathe each piece of vinyl and play the record in its entirety. Not too realistic but it was wish. Needless to say it never happened, though Jon and I did go to see the man in London one night.
Next Monday, 17th May Randy visits Scotland where he’s playing at The Royal Concert Hall. Bafflingly there still seems to be some availability for tickets at this show. I say this because it is a very rare chance to see the greatest living American song writer play live. The last time he was here I went to see him a few years back at the Edinburgh Queens Hall and it was one of the great gigs. A true highlight was this moment.
So this Friday on Another Country we will only do one thing: we will celebrate the music of Randy Newman. We will play songs which have chronicled the Great Depression, The Louisiana Flood, Racism and the USA’s own shaky prosperity built on the evil of the Slave Trade. We will play songs all written by Randy but performed by great singers including Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, Van Dyke Parks and Harry Nilsson. Trust me I will not be able to play you everything, even though we will try to play more songs than we have ever played in one night.
I am going to make sure that we play songs you will recognise as well as some personal favourites and some very obscure covers. I hope those of you who love the music of Randy will feel we have done justice and those of you not yet convinced may want to get hold of some of his music. The title of this piece is perhaps one of the key songs in understanding Randy Newman; so if you need some further persuasion…..My Life is Good.
This Sunday is my final shift for this season. I have hugely enjoyed these Sunday Morning encounters and I’m grateful to everyone who has given positive feedback. Like Friday night this show will be extremely personal. It comes the day after a day which I hope might end like this….
That photo sees me celebrating Dundee United’s 94 Cup win with Davie Bowman and nearly getting arrested. I did say that no court would find me guilty for surviving 6 losing finals and getting over excited at finally winning.
However I have already met some of these pluck Ross County types and I have no desire to count chickens…..so I only hope to be in a state of mild euphoria by Sunday morning.
In that light then we will discuss cheating, money and corruption in the world of sport with Craig Brown and Graham Spiers. We will look at football, rugby and doubtless snooker too. I will also meet up with Andrew Greig in his garden shed to discuss this lovely book:
It’s a memoir inspired by the poetry and personality of Norman McCaig and I recommend it highly to you. I can also promise you great music from Michael Marra, Paul Simon and A Tribe Called Quest.