The Library of Congress’ Gershwin Room

During a visit to The Library of Congress, Randy Newman was given the opportunity to play George Gershwin’s piano. “Outdoors but Not the Red River Valley” was written on commission from pianist Gloria Cheng and is one in a five-part homage to Newman’s uncles, film composers Alfred, Emil and Lionel Newman.

“My uncle Alfred wrote the music for a number of John Ford’s films. In every one of them, the great director wanted to use ‘Red River Valley.’ Al liked the tune, but not in every picture. I wrote this piece for my uncle, who was a really great composer. Listening to it, because of whose piano I was playing, apparently I was afraid to use the pedal.

“Thanks for visiting this site. I promise to do better by you in the future. (In B flat): Happy Thanksgiving to you and Happy Birthday to me!”

– Randy Newman

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