‘Short People’ was a surprise and controversial hit in 1977 for Randall Stuart ‘Randy’ Newman and one of my favourite tunes-a kind of an anthem for us vertically-challenged types. Randy always maintains it was written as a joke, like a number of his satirical pop songs. He has also produced numerous film scores and has the dubious distinction of having the most Academy Award nominations (15) without a single win. In 2002, when he eventually picked up the Best Original Song Oscar for ‘If I Didn’t Have You’ from MONSTERS INC,he received a standing ovation. He reacted with the opening joke to his acceptance speech, “I don’t need your pity.” He did beat an impressive line-up: Sting, Enya and Sir Paul McCartney. He picked up his second Oscar after his 20th nomination in 2011 for ‘We Belong Together’ from TOY STORY 3 and quipped, “My percentages aren’t great.” He does have a way to go to match his uncle, Alfred Newman,the dean of Hollywood composers. He was nominated 54 times for nine wins,including one for THE KING AND I in 1956. Randy has also won a handful of Emmys and Grammys and was inducted into the Rock-And -Roll Hall of Fame in April this year.
In February 2012 Randy played London’s Royal Festival Hall, but I missed meeting him to have my sketch signed in person, so sent it to the Carre Theatre in Amsterdam, where he had a gig on 12 March. Sending items to venues is always a hit-and-miss affair,but I have a high success rate with the Dutch and they continued that trend.