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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"Louisiana 1927"

I remember my aunt talking about that flood [the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927]. She worked for [Governor] Huey Long at some point, in New Orleans. Good Old Boys was meant to be a concept record. I wrote "Rednecks," then felt I had to do more for the guy, explain why he was that way with "Birmingham," "Whirlwind," and "Louisiana 1927." The chorus ["They're tryin' to wash us away"] – That's the North. It's the feeling that the rest of the country would like them to disappear. It's much more relevant now. The whole country feels as if it's a swamp.

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