Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements
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Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements

Band Folk Acoustic


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A Place In The Sun



Tracy Newman has been playing guitar, writing songs and singing since she was 14. Her first influences were her cousins Marcia and Clarke Weissman, who were a folk duo in the late 50s and often hosted hootenannies in Tracy’s parent’s garage in Los Angeles. Through them, Tracy was introduce to traditional folk songs from all over the world. She began performing these songs in the early 60s in Tucson, Los Angeles and New York. She played the Bitter End, the Golden Bear, McCabe’s Guitar Shop and many other venues, both great and terrible. At one club, she did 5 shows a night, five nights a week for $35 and tips. She even toured with Hootenanny ’63 playing every major concert hall in the country, including Carnegie Hall. Essentially, those are Tracy’s folk roots.

By the late 60s, discovering that it’s hard to actually make a living singing “Kumbaya” in coffee houses, Tracy moved on to explore the exciting world of day jobs. She became a nursery school teacher, where her music skills really came in handy. Also around this time, she joined an improvisation class which morphed into the well-known LA theatre company, The Groundlings - training ground for “Saturday Night Live” players such as Tracy’s sister, Laraine Newman, the late Phil Harmann, Jon Lovitz, Will Ferrell, and so on. Tracy performed with the company for 15 years, taught song improv, directed shows, and eventually moved on to TV writing. (She got married and had a child somewhere in there, too.)

From 1989 to 2004 she wrote with a partner - Jonathan Stark. Their first job was as staff writers on the 10th season of “Cheers.” After that they worked on “Bob” (Bob Newhart,) “The Nanny,” “Ellen” (Ellen Degeneres,) and “The Drew Carey show.” In 1997, Tracy and John won the Emmy and the prestigious Peabody Awared for co-writing the ground-breaking “coming out” episode of Ellen. In 2001, they created the ABC comedy, “According to Jim,” starring Jim Belushi, which recently finihsed its 8th and final season of production.

Tracy left the show at the end of the 3rd season to return to songwriting and performing, asking herself, “If not now, when?” She’s played every LA venue including The Living Tradition, Russ & Julie’s House Concerts, Kulak’s Woodshed, The Talking Stick, Strings Music, etc. Her first CD, “A Place in the Sun,” also features The Reinforcements -- harmony junkie Gene Lippmann and the sultry Lorie Doswell. For more detailed information on Tracy’s career, or if you think you might have gone to school with her or something, go to