If you’ve listened to National Public Radio, you probably recognize the name BJ Leiderman. He is the composer of the recognizable and catchy theme songs to NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Car Talk” and “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.” He’s also one of Swannanoa’s newest residents.
Leiderman sold his house in Virginia Beach at the end of July and drove to Asheville the very next day. He cites “various and obvious signs from the universe” as the impetus for this change in his life. But before he packed up his car, he turned to the radio world for help. Leiderman called his friends at WNCW to see if they had any leads on a new home and a listener emailed the station with a real estate listing almost immediately. “The first link showed a photo of the beautiful Seven Sisters mountains and the next picture showed the front porch that photo was taken from,” Leiderman tells Xpress. “I drove right up here, sat on the porch, and that was all she wrote.”
For the past 30 years, millions of NPR listeners have heard BJ Leiderman’s name at the end of the network’s flagship programs. So what’s it like to achieve that kind of niche fame? “Well, it’s kind of eerie,” he says. “Every now and then I hear my own fingers on the piano or my hands on the drums and it really blows my mind.”
BJ Leiderman is working on his debut album, a mixture original pop and rock songs as well as covers written by friends. He recently posted a few sample tracks, including some quirky lyrics to the famed “Morning Edition” theme song (see below).
Leiderman is also on the hunt for gigs and band members in the area. So if you’re an NPR nerd, now’s your chance to team up with one of the network’s fixtures.
Catch BJ Leiderman at his first two Asheville appearances, Friday, Sept. 28 from 6-9 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Both are shows are free and will be held at the Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain.
If you’re interested in joining Leiderman’s band or inquiring about a gig, visit his Facebook page.
Morning Edition Lyrics by BJ Leiderman