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Good Old Boys

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Editors’ Notes

From the scathing, Lester Maddox-invoking opening bars of "Rednecks," Randy Newman serves notice here that he's taking no prisoners -- an especially nervy gambit considering the themes of this loose concept album: the racist near-past of America's Southern underbelly and its odious, lingering legacy. One side of Newman's family hails from Louisiana, roots that help suffuse "Birmingham" and "Kingfish" with a sense of genuine affection and Southern pride. But it's the songwriter's uncanny ability to create flawed, often haunted characters, then crawl beneath their skin to rail at the world as they see it that makes tracks like "Marie," "Guilty" and "Back On My Feet Again" resonate with often stinging emotions.


Born: 28 November 1943 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

An anomaly among early-'70s singer/songwriters, Randy Newman may have been slightly influenced by Bob Dylan, but his music owed more to New Orleans R&B and traditional pop than folk. Newman developed an idiosyncratic style that alternated between sweeping, cinematic pop and rolling R&B, which were tied together by his nasty sense of humor. Where his peers concentrated on confessional songwriting, Newman drew characters, creating a world filled with misfits, outcasts, charlatans, and con men. Though...
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Good Old Boys, Randy Newman
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