Fans of snappy piano pop would do well to head to Fergie’s Wednesday night, when Toy Soldiers frontman Ron Gallo hosts a tribute to 70s songwriters Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Admission to the show is free, and music gets underway starting at 9 p.m. It’s the first installment of the new weekly “Ron Gallo Revue”, and features an impressive list of local collaborators: Ali and Claire Wadsworth, Tim Arnold of Good Old War, Thom McCarthy, Ross Bellenoit, Gretchen Lohse of Yellow Humphrey, Jerry Bernhardt of The Get Real Gang, Aaron Brown, Modern Inventors and Gallo himself. With so much talent in the room, we couldn’t help offering a few suggestions / challenges from the Nilsson / Newman repertoire that we’d love to see these folks perform. For instance, Nilsson’s iconic 1971 hit “Without You” – re-popularized by Mariah Carey in the 90s – would rock so hard coming out of one or both of the powerhouse vocalist Wadsworth sisters. And Aaron Brown’s voice already has the husky smoothness of Newman’s – he’d tear up “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.” Check out our picks below, and get more information on the tribute at its Facebook event page. Continue reading
Singer-songwriter and composer Randy Newman has been nominated this year for an Academy Award in the category of Best Original Song for “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3. In addition to writing traditional pop songs over his acclaimed career, Newman has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards. His one time win was for “If I Didn’t Have You” from the movie Monsters Inc. Newman returns to town on March 6th to the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, NJ.
Recently, Newman talked with Patrick Goldstein about performing at the Oscars in this article in the Los Angeles Times blog. He said:
“It’s a long show and it’s hot in there and if you’re playing, you’re playing to a crowd where the majority of people haven’t won anything, so they don’t even want to be there. I mean, it’s not, ahem, a great audience. To be truthful, they have me on too often. I can’t imagine why they’d rather have me than Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. The whole experience is so strange that I guess it’s fun. I don’t get nervous too often when I perform, but I do at the Oscars. If you make a mistake, everyone knows it. I did the show once with Lyle Lovett and I guess I was trying to help him relax, so I told him, ‘Don’t worry, it’s like a fourth-rate vaudeville show.’ And then I screwed up and came in too early on ‘You’ve Got a Friend.’ So I wasn’t much help.”
Below, a couple of videos of two of our favorite songs from the earlier part of Newman’s career.
Randy Newman performs at the Scottish Rite Auditorium 315 White Horse Pike in Collingswood, NJ 08107 on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm. Tickets to the show are $56, $46 and $36.