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November 28

November 28, 1943 – Composer and Disney Legend Randy Newman is Born

Image credit: randynewman.com

“I’ve always admired Carl Stalling and the other composers who specialized in music for cartoons, and I wanted to do one myself.”

On November 28, 1943, composer Randall Stuart Newman was born in Los Angeles, California. As a child, he and his family lived in New Orleans until they moved back to Los Angeles when he was 11. Newman came from a noted musical family; three uncles were Hollywood film-score composers: Alfred Newman, Lionel Newman, and Emil Newman. Randy became a professional songwriter at the age of 17, and in 1962, he released his first single, “Golden Gridiron Boy.” The single did poorly, and Newman decided to concentrate on songwriting and arranging instead of performing. His big break came as the B-side to The Fleetwoods’ hit single “Lovers By Night, Strangers By Day,” with a song titled “They Tell Me It’s Summer.” In 1970, Newman had a critical success with his sophomore album 12 Songs; in 1977, he scored a hit with the unlikely song, “Short People.”

Newman began his work with Disney and Pixar when Disney tapped him to compose the film Toy Story. He wrote the hit song, “You’ve Got A Friend In Me,” for the film. His success with the film led to other animation composing jobs for Disney/Pixar, including James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Cars, and The Princess and the Frog. He was nominated for, and won, an Academy Award for the song “If I Didn’t Have You” for the film Monsters, Inc.; and won the Academy Award for the song “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.He has earned at least one Oscar nomination for each animated film he has worked on. Newman was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2007.

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