Alfred Matthew Yankovic (born on October 23, 1959), better known as “Weird Al” Yankovic, is a Grammy Award-winning musician, satirist, parodist, accordionist, and television producer. He is known in particular for his humorous songs which make light of popular culture, parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, or both. His works have earned him three gold and five platinum records in the U.S. His career longevity is notable among contemporary performers, and he had his first Billboard top ten album and single in 2006, nearly three decades into his career.
After hearing Dr. Demento’s radio show, Yankovic sent the Doctor a tape of a song entitled “Belvedere Cruisin'”, a song about his family’s current vehicle, in 1976. Another song included on the tape which never received airtime was entitled “Dr. D Superstar”, a parody of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. He was a senior at Lynwood High School at the time, but that tape was the start of his eventual career.
Three years later, Yankovic was an architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a disc jockey at the university’s radio station. According to Yankovic he has been called “Weird Al” since high school and used the nickname on air. Since “My Sharona” by The Knack was on the charts and The Knack was scheduled to play at Cal Poly, Yankovic took his accordion into the restroom across the hall from the radio station and recorded a parody entitled “My Bologna” with a B-side called “School Cafeteria”. The Knack met Yankovic after a show at his college, thought the song was funny, and arranged for it to be released on their label, Capitol Records, which gave Yankovic a six-month contract. Dr. Demento’s listeners frequently put this track atop his “Funny Five” list.
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