Pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman was born in New Orleans in 1943 to a family of film musicians and began his own career at age 17 as a songwriter for a music publisher. While studying music composition at UCLA Newman was signed to Reprise Records and dropped out of school to record an eponymous 1968 album which established his reputation for creating catchy, humorous, and often socially conscious R&B-influenced pop songs. Though his first album didn't sell well, it won praise from critics and other musicians who frequently recorded Newman compositions. By the time 1970's Sail Away came out, Newman was a cult figure, and the record sold well among college students thanks to his frequent touring with artists such as Harry Nilsson.

-- RollingStone.com[1] [2]


Harry Nilsson was a sweet man and a great artist. I was deeply honored that he chose to make an album of my songs.

-- Randy Newman[3]