Tracy Newman is a radio journalist's dream come true. A comedy writer with a sharp site and funny stories, she is a guaranteed great guest. A folk singer since she was 16, she has great songs and stories. What else could a DJ ask for? Not much.
Tracy Newman grew up in my hometown, Los Angeles and started playing guitar as a teen, sitting on the diving board of her family’s pool (of course they had a pool, this is LA!). Back then she was influenced by one of my favourites, the Kingston Trio, and she could actually play some of their songs, especially “Tom Dooley” which has only two chords.
After high school, Tracy wanted to be a folksinger, but her parents insisted she go to college. She went to the U of A in Tucson and quickly dug up the “folk” community, stopped attending college and was playing on street corners for money which freaked out her mother who dragged her back to LA for “help.” The therapist kept nodding off during Tracy’s sessions - he couldn’t relate to an upper-middle-class teenage girl who just wanted to be a folksinger.
In the early 70s, she joined an improvisation class which became The Groundlings, and began teaching and directing there. (Her sister, Laraine Newman was discovered there by Lorne Michaels for Saturday Night Live.) Tracy met her future TV writing partner, Jonathan Stark and started on Cheers, and moved on to many classic TV shows, including Bob (Bob Newhart), The Nanny, Ellen, The Drew Carey Show and Hiller and Diller (Richard Lewis and Kevin Nealon.)
In 1997, they won the Emmy and the Peabody Award for writing the ground-breaking “coming out” episode of Ellen. In 2001, they created the ABC comedy, According to Jim. But during all of this Tracy kept writing songs and is once again performing full-time. She has three CDs: A Place in the Sun, I Just See You and a children's album, I Can Swing Forever. Her current band, The Reinforcements, is made up of Gene Lippmann (guitar and vocal), John Cartwright (bass), Paula Fong (vocal), Doug Knoll (drums) and Cary DiNigris (guitar.)
I have been listening to this song and watching the video. so wonderful.