Randy Newman

Long after most of fans listening to music today are dead and gone, it is a safe bet that music historians will look back on the career of Randy Newman and declare him one of the greatest song writers of his time. Having written dozens of successful pop songs and film soundtracks dating back to 1962, Newman is arguably the most prolific and important modern day composer since Bob Dylan.

In his career, which has lasted nearly five decades, he has seen and done it all. He wrote a bevy of pop hits for other stars including Three Dog Night, Joe Cocker, Judy Collins, Harry Nilsson, Dusty Springfield, Peggy Lee and others; had several hits of his own (the most famous and controversial being a ditty called "Short People," in 1977), and has won both Oscars and Grammys for the dozens of film soundtracks he has recorded, including that of Monsters Inc..

An accomplished singer, songwriter, and film score composer, has found an innovative way to essentially write the same song over and over again. He's kind of the Woody Allen of rock 'n' roll, where the same character essentially appears in just about every film he stars in. For Newman, it seems as though he is always singing the praises of the underdog, the downtrodden, and the faceless American hero.

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