"Weird Al" Yankovic









"Weird Al" Yankovic

was born as Alfred Matthew Yankovic, on October 23, 1959, in Downey, California. And raised in nearby Lynwood. Alfred began school a year earlier than most kids and he skipped the second grade. He says he was labeled as a nerd early on because the other kids seemed to think he was some sort of rocket scientist. In 1976, when Weird Al was a senior in high school, he recorded a homemade tape and sent it to Dr. Demento who was a host for a comedy radio program. The first song on the tape was, Belvedere Cruisin’, and another song on the tape was, Dr. D Superstar. Dr, Demento played the Belvedere Cruisin’ song on the air as soon as he heard it.

Al also played in the local coffeehouses. Al became a disc jockey at the university he attended in his sophomore year, on their radio station, KCPR. He was nicknamed Weird Al by fellow students and the nickname stuck. He released his first recording in 1978 on the LP called, Slo Grown. The single was called, Take Me Down. The record was released as a benefit for the Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County. Weird Al took his accordion and went into the restroom, across the hall from the radio station, and recorded the parody to My Sharona, and called it My Balogna. He wanted to get the echo chamber sound he got in the restroom. He sent the song to Dr. Demento, who played it and got a good response on it from the listeners. It was suggested to the vice president of Capitol Records that he should release it as a single. The single was good enough that Capitol Records gave him a six month contract.

On September 14, 1980, Weird Al was a guest on the Dr. Demento Show, and he was to record a new parody live on the show. The song was called, Another One Rides the Bus, which was a parody to the song, Another One Bites the Dust. Al was practicing the song outside of the sound booth and he met, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, who was a drummer and he told AL he would tap a beat out on his accordion case while Al sang. The song was such a big hit that Al had his first television appearance on the Tomorrow Show in 1981, and Jon Swartz again beat on the accordion case and made funny sound effects for him. He went on tour for the first time as a part of Dr. Demento’s stage show. A Phoenix night club manager, Jay Levey, was blown away by Al’s performance and he asked Al if he ever considered getting a full band together and performing his music as a career. The rest is just history. Al was on his way to a rewarding career. Weird Al Yankovic was still recording as of 2006 when he released the single, White & Nerdy. Weird Al released 17 albums, many singles, some were gold or platinum, 10 music videos, and 9 appearances in movies.