Randy Brooks is inevitably introduced as “the man who wrote ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” – the multi-million seller that one Nashville publisher has called “The ‘Gambler’ of Christmas songs.” “Grandma” earned Randy SESAC Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year honors, spawned an animated Christmas special, musical toys, ornaments, greeting cards, apparel, video games, a branded hot chocolate mix, a Tesla dashboard app, and inflatable yard abominations. The song has been used in many a movie and TV show – most recently Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special and two episodes of NBC’s “The Good Place” – and covered by everyone from Ray Stevens to the Coasters.
“Grandma” is typical of the tongue-in cheek novelty songs for which Randy is known (he refers to his style as “East Dallas orthdox music.)” His Percy the Puny Poinsettia” was also a million-seller by virtue of sharing vinyl with “Grandma.” His “Will You Be Ready at the Plate When Jesus Throws the Ball” appeared under the closing credits of the Showtime movie “Pride Against Prejudice: The Larry Doby Story.”
Randy has decades of performing credits, dating as far back as a trip to New York from his native Louisville, Kentucky, to appear on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour at the age of 15. He has performed in 25 states and eight countries outside the U.S. (nine, if you count the night he and his brother borrowed the mariachis’ guitars and played on their break in Mexico City when Randy was 16 and Ronnie was 13.) He entertained U.S. troops with USO in Vietnam, Thailand, and Europe. More recently Randy has performed at Nashville’s Tin Pan South songwriter festival and at the Bluebird Café, the Kerrville organization’s Southwest Regional Folk Alliance in Austin, the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival in Florida and Alabama, as a guest performer with the Roanoke, Virginia, Symphony Orchestra, and at Foley’s on the Mall in Lismore, Ireland. (He’ll be performing in Ireland again next week.) In addition to solo singer/songwriter appearances, he plays bass and sings with Dallas-based pool party band The Bad Monkeys and longtime Americana group Young Country.
Randy is resigned to the fact that, no matter what else he might accomplish in life, he is destined to be remembered for just one thing – kind of like the John Wilkes Boothe of songwriters.