top of page

Legendary Singer-Composer Randy Newman Says He Gets Heckled By 5-Year Olds Who Want to Hear "Yo

LOS ANGELES — Randy Newman is famous for his work as a singer/songwriter and for the last two decades as a film composer, but he says some of his biggest fans only want to hear one tune.

“I’ve had 5-year-old hecklers who want to hear, ‘You’ve Got A Friend,’” he said in an interview that’s featured in a new book, SCORE: The Interviews.

Newman wrote “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” for 1995’s Toy Story, and the song’s tune became part of the film’s larger score. Newman was nominated for an Academy Award for the tune.

Though the song didn’t win the award — losing to “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas — it seems to have secured a place in the hearts of kids watching Toy Story. He says his concerts are now attended by more families and children familiar with his film scores and songs.

“It’s a different audience than I would’ve expected to get,” he told the crew of SCORE: A Film Music Documentary (2017), which will be released in theaters this June. And sometimes those 5-year-old hecklers can be outspoken during the concert.

“One kid was at the side of the stage. I almost had to go smack him,” Newman joked to the SCORE crew.

His song for the sequel Toy Story 2 also proved to be a hit with his younger fans.

“The Jesse song, ‘When Somebody Loves Me’ — I didn’t think that a bunch of 5-year-olds would sit still for that song,” Newman said. “But they sat still for the whole thing.”

Newman’s career as a film composer rivals that of almost any other composer in the modern era, as he shared with the team from SCORE, and he’s grateful to those who’ve supported him over the years.

“There are kids, but they’re kids whose parents pointed them to my music,” he said. “It’s been an entirely tremendous experience.”

The never-before-seen interview with Newman is one of dozens featured in the new book SCORE: The Interviews, available in paperback and on Kindle — a treasure trove of rare interviews and insight with dozens of composers and directors will accompany the June release of SCORE: A Film Music Documentary.

The 352-page paperback book is packed with insider stories and never-before-heard in-depth interviews with dozens of maestros of the modern age, including Hans Zimmer, James Cameron, Quincy Jones, Rachel Portman, and one of the last long-form interviews conducted with Hollywood icon Garry Marshall.