Randy Newman's "Stay Away" is a call for social distancing in the fight against COVID-19. Proceeds support the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music's efforts to broaden opportunities for underserved children and young musicians in New Orleans' Ninth Ward.
Randy Newman’s new song, “Stay Away,” written as a PSA about COVID-19 safety for his local Southern California public radio station KPCC, was released on April 17, 2020, to purchase digitally via the Nonesuch Store and iTunes; it is also streaming at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and other services, in addition to the YouTube video below. Proceeds from the song will benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans, a city to which Newman has a deep, lifelong personal connection.
In his video performance Newman introduces the song by saying, “I’ve been asked by KPCC to say some words about social distancing, because of my scientific background, because apparently there’s some disease that’s going around. Stay six feet away from people, wash your hands religiously and often, and don’t touch your face.” He concludes, “I wish everyone well, and I wish myself well to some extent. Stay safe. It’s hard for Americans, we don’t like being told what to do at all. But in this case, let’s do it and we’ll be all right. All my love to everybody.”
Located in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, within the Musicians’ Village, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music broadens opportunities for underserved children, youth, and musicians. The Center deeply values its connection to the surrounding community and endeavors to be an ongoing source of information and cultural inspiration to residents of the Ninth Ward in particular, and to New Orleans as a whole. It is named in honor of the New Orleans native and legendary jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis clan, who recently passed away from COVID-19-related complications.
“New Orleans is really suffering, and since African Americans are taking the brunt of the punishment, I thought something to help the Ninth Ward would be a good idea,” Newman said. “The Ellis Marsalis Center has a great reputation among musicians and people I know who live in the city.
“If the song makes a great deal of money, all bets are off.”