Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, Personal Journals

Chart Positions

Personal Journals 34

Desert Island Discs was created by Roy Plomley in 1942, and the format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island


Randy Newman

October 19th, 2008

Episode 20 of 566 episodes

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the American composer, singer and song-writer Randy Newman. Colleagues say he stands shoulder-to-shoulder with musical legends Cole Porter and George Gershwin. He first made his name by writing mordant and often satirical pop songs - including A Few Words in Defence of Our Country, Political Science and Short People. For the past 25 years he has been better known for his Hollywood film music - including writing the scores for the first four Disney/Pixar films. He held the unique distinction for being Oscar-nominated 15 times without winning until 2002, when he picked up the award for Best Original Song for If I Didn't Have You from Monsters Inc. His songs are often written from the point of view of unlikeable characters - from slave masters to stalkers - it was a style, he acknowledges, that wasn't universally liked, but he adds: "I wouldn't have it any differently". [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: The 3rd movement of String Quartet No.16 in F Major by Ludwig van Beethoven Book: The Divine Comedy (with translation) by Dante Alighieri Luxury: A piano.