Song of the South: Randy Newman's Good Old Boys By the time of “Good Old Boys” release on September 10, 1974, Randy Newman had established himself as a revered cult figure and critical favorite. But fueled by its controversial opening track, “Rednecks,” his ambitious concept album about the American South became Newman’s first hit - and over the following decades, its reputation has only continued to expand.
After a few months in the upper tier of Billboard’s Top-200 album chart, “Good Old Boys” found its way onto a host of year-end Top-Ten lists. When the Seventies came to a close, Stereo Review magazine included the album on its “Best of the Decade” roster; and after the album was reissued on CD in 2002, the Dallas Observer hailed it as “one of the greatest albums ever made.”
“Song of the South: Randy Newman’s Good Old Boys” traces the evolution of Newman’s album from its roots in an abandoned project, titled Johnny Cutler’s Birthday; recounts his arduous journey to bring his reimagined concept to fruition; catalogs its cast of misfits and misanthropes; and explores the album’s central themes in the context of Newman’s half-century-long career.
It’s a compelling story enhanced by the author’s personal interviews with the key members of Newman’s production team, as well as by his unique access to previously unavailable material.