Blame The Beatles

More man than myth

It all started when his father brought home Meet The Beatles from the department store where he worked behind the jewelry counter. Shortly thereafter, a few mesmerizing minutes with Ed Sullivan sealed the deal. In Elementary School, Leiderman formed a band with best friend, Chicago-based actor David Lively, and, singing into a microphone plugged into a movie projector, learned every note, inflection and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” he could get his ears on.

Leiderman took piano lessons for a year or so, but because he had to walk to the teacher’s house, and because the Beatles’ sheet music never quite sounded like the records, he gave it up. To this day, Leiderman does not read music.

Many years, and a few wrong turns later, Leiderman was asked to demo for a new morning program soon to be launched on NPR. Sitting in a friend’s garage, and banging on a cheap Crumar Orchestrator plugged into a Teac 4-Track reel-to-reel (that’s tape, kids), he came up with the melody that Public Radio listeners have been listening to for almost 30 years. Themes for Weekend Edition, Marketplace, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk soon followed. New York session trombonist and arranger Jim Pugh arranged many of Leiderman’s best-known Public Radio themes.

Leiderman moved to New York City in the mid-80’s where he built a successful jingle career, winning various awards including the Clio Award. Partnering with Art Director Howard Hoffman, Leiderman worked as Creative Director and Copywriter for clients including Nickelodeon, Tyco Toys and Cartoon Network at Bozell Advertising and Grey Advertising.

Leiderman currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina and is about to release his DEBUT album entitled “BJ!”


Name: BJ Leiderman

Age: Varies daily

Birthday: Valentine’s Day

College: American University

Major: Broadcast Journalism

Favorite Book: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Favorite Movie: Magnolia

Favorite Musical: Sunday
In The Park With George

Favorite Food: Sno•Caps

Favorite Quote: 
“We may be through with the Past, but the Past is never through with us.” 
- from the film, Magnolia