RANDY NEWMAN Cold Turkey (Soundtrack 1971)

Cold_Turkey_RNCold Turkey (1971)
Newman’s First, Previously Unreleased Score

You’d think there’d be more interest in the recent release of Randy Newman’s soundtrack to 1971’s Cold Turkey. It was the very first score from the scion of the Newman Composing Dynasty and has remained unreleased until now. Even more unique than the music, is how it was released – in a limited edition of 1,000, using vault tapes supplied by Randy himself – which includes 25 minutes of bonus material. The film is a forgotten Dick Van Dyke comedy about an entire town kicking the smoking habit. Newman’s score is much as you would expect, with lots of wry Americana (and some overtly patriotic themes) blurring the lines between sincere homage and tongue-in-cheekiness. Interestingly, Newman would come back to some of this material for future recordings. You can hear a refrain from Good Old Boys’ “Birmingham” in the instrumental “City Council Debates,” and there are bound to be others, seeing as this score sat unreleased. The only vocal performance is Randy’s “He Gives Us All Our Love,” later reprised for 1972’s Sail Away. Only $15-20 @ Amazon, HERE, surprising given its limited press run.

Opening (The Flag) (0:18)
He Gives Us All His Love (Performed by Randy Newman) (2:38)
Reverend Running (2:16)
City Council Debates (0:51)
Public Leaders Chime In (1:27)
Please Sign The Pledge (2:11)
Paul Hardly Speaks (0:39)
God’s People (0:41)
Public Leaders (0:40)
Dawn in Eagle Rock (0:27)
The Town Copes (1:16)
World Famous (2:13)
Natalie’s Theme (0:27)
Flying Poodle (0:31)
Walter Chronic Arrives (0:50)
Carnival College (1:47)
Commercialism Montage (2:40)
He Gives Us All His Love (2:05)
Milk and Cookies (0:34)
Press Set-Up – Last Day (0:37)
He Gives Us All His Love (Performed by Randy Newman) (2:25)
Unused Score Suite (6:29)
Cocktail Piano (1:18)
In a Mellow Mood (2:40)
Organ Postlude (0:56)
Washington Post March (1:30)
S.O.C. (0:30)
Stars and Stripes Forever (John Phillip Sousa) (1:26)
Hail to the Chief (0:52)
Marching Band Medley (2:30)
Unused Source 1 (2:04)
Unused Source 2 (1:55)


  • Willard
    August 10, 2011 - 08:06 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • August 10, 2011 - 08:48 | Permalink

    Thanks alot Willard, I’m looking forward to hearing this.

    • Willard
      August 10, 2011 - 12:39 | Permalink

      It’s pretty soundtracky. Not many surprises, but totally Newman from the get-go. The version here of “He Gives Us All His Love” is a naked, much slower take than what he would eventually re-record, with strings, for Sail Away the following year.

  • Street23
    August 10, 2011 - 14:14 | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this — I had no idea this had even been released. But it’s one of my favorite films, and I remember the version of “He Gives Us All His Love” fondly.

  • LakerCrazy
    August 10, 2011 - 16:33 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard…My Uncle Was A Movie Exec…With Universal Pixs….So I Remember This As One Of The Movies He Gave Me A…”Sneak Pass” To….I Had Forgotten Randy Did The Soundtrack!….You Come Up With Some…Crazy/Rare Stuff!…Thanks Again!

  • August 11, 2011 - 18:21 | Permalink

    Wow, I had no idea Randy did the soundtrack for this film! Probably because I didn’t know who Randy Newman was at the time this came out (pre-Sailing Away). I love Randy’s scores, so I am really looking forward to this, his first film score. But I would hardly call this a ‘forgotten Dick Van Dyke Comedy’. This was a Big-deal film at the time. Although It was made a couple years earlier and shelved (due to fear that it was too aggressive and unlikeable), it was directed by Norman Lear, and was released right after the groundbreaking success of Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ TV show. This was a groundbreaking satirical film that featured that bold, abrasive, in-your-face style of comedy (complete with profanity and unlikable characters) that was just beginning to take off at this time. It was quite a departure for Van Dyke from his sweet Disneyesque films. Anyway, it was a great raucous comedy, and I’m sure Randy’s sense of satire and irony in his score fit in just fine. Thanks much.

  • Willard
    August 11, 2011 - 18:32 | Permalink

    It’s not forgotten to those that remember it. But ask the average Joe, “Remember the movie Cold Turkey?’ and you’re gonna get a blank stare back. Funny thing about the music… the patriotic music and Americana themes have that wry, Newman touch. But, it’s impossible to tell if he’s playing it straight and it just seems wry because it’s Newman, or if it actually is wry. There are a few moments that could have been written by whoever did the music for those old 60s Don Knotts movies. But, fans of Newman’s style should enjoy this.

  • August 13, 2011 - 12:11 | Permalink

    You’re right – I did enjoy it, thanks! Hadn’t noticed it was out. Having been a fan of his since I first heard his debut LP in 1969 I’ve appreciated most all of his film scores, as well as his own releases.

    Fans of his earlier work would probably enjoy the 1972 concert (KSAN broadcast) from the Boarding House in San Francisco or the live 1974 Record Plant performance for maybe 10 people where he does some of the Good Old Boys material. I’ve only got them at 192Kb and don’t recall from where, but I still like listening to them.

    • Willard
      August 13, 2011 - 12:23 | Permalink

      Thanks. Apparently it’s a Limited Edition of 1,000, made with Newman’s involvement. But, the seller’s copies at Amazon are cheap, for such a limited product. I’m wondering if collecting and “collector’s prices” are also victims of the digitization of music in the 21st Century. Click the gray bar to access our archival Newman. We’ve got the two shows you mentioned (@192, also) and some other cool stuff, too. Johnny Cutler’s Birthday (live in the studio demo recordings of Good Old Boys), is a must-hear. Thanks.

  • Brian Tweed
    August 14, 2011 - 09:44 | Permalink

    very nice blog, I am glad I found it

  • July 25, 2012 - 21:09 | Permalink

    Randy Newman’s rejected score for Air Force One, released as a promotional CD? Whatchoo know ’bout that, Will(ard)s?

    People are looking because it was just mentioned in an article about the film on Moviefone. The one link I found to it is long dead.

    If you know where to find it, please share!

  • Willard
    July 25, 2012 - 22:08 | Permalink

    Funny you should mention that… go HERE

  • July 27, 2012 - 05:42 | Permalink

    Thanks an awful lot, pal.

  • Anonymous
    September 1, 2012 - 01:59 | Permalink

    This was GREAT!!! (tell Tony the Tiger to move on over). I saw this movie and loved it. Laughed my ass off. Never in a million years would I have suspected Newman did this. Bravo again! Nice work.

  • Anonymous
    January 21, 2014 - 01:14 | Permalink

    I think this might need a new link. I keep getting an error loop a but can’t get past it.

    • Willard
      January 21, 2014 - 07:56 | Permalink

      Try a different browser. It opens and d/l’s without issue on my end.

  • Grant
    July 14, 2014 - 21:59 | Permalink

    This is fun stuff! Thanks for this, Willard! Especially that more spare version of “He Gives Us All His Love”… as you point out – mesmerizing!

  • Willard
    July 14, 2014 - 22:19 | Permalink


  • Leave a Reply