Randy Newman: My Life in 15 Songs

Here's how a comic genius built one of American music's greatest catalogs

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"Davy the Fat Boy"

It's sung by a con man who is telling these parents that he is going to take care of their son, who is a freak – in the carnival sense of the word. There might be something to do with my own self worth, but I didn't think there was when I wrote it. The narrator – it's hard to have any sympathy for him. Most of my narrators have more to like about 'em. But not this one – he is not a good guy. I made mistakes with the orchestra, arranging it too slow. Then I had to record the vocals, and it was like building a mountain you can't climb. It was brutal.

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