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Good Old Boys

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Randy Newman's Southern concept album opens with a shot of his satiric wit: In "Rednecks", he creates a thoroughly believable character, deflates racism, pokes fun at Georgia governor Lester Maddox and offends the uptight on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Yet the best tracks aren’t funny at all: "Guilty" and "Marie" are both love songs, delivered by admittedly flawed characters. The haunting ballad "Louisiana 1927", about a real-life flood of historic proportions, took on new meaning after Hurricane Katrina.


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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