Jimmi Accardi: Putting out the kind of music he wants to hear
February 14, 2013
OK, so he played guitar for the Monkees in the mid-'70s. And toured with "The Twist" legend Chubby Checker. A stint with the critically acclaimed songwriter Harry Nielsen is in there, as well as some time with the Belmonts as well.
Yup, KVMR radio show host Jimmi Accardi's got quite the impressive musical resume.
"Oh, and I also wrote the entire 'Sgt. Pepper' Beatles album, as well as Beethoven's '5th Symphony,'" he said with a maniacal smile, flashing his eyebrows and adding, "Not."
Jimmi is the host of the aptly named "Jimmi Accardi's Rock'n'Roll Party" (Mondays, 2-4 p.m., KVMR 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming) on the eclectic Nevada City station where he did his very first radio show 15 years ago.
"I could never find what I wanted to hear (on the radio), so I started collecting the music myself, ran into KVMR and figured, 'Hey, I'll do the radio show I was always looking for,'" he explains. And he got the chance to do just that.
It's a combination of early rock 'n' roll, influential and often little-known artists, guitar and instrument mastery, collectible songs and then some.
"In February, Mardi Gras month, we'll be celebrating the music of New Orleans rhythm and blues with artists and music from the late '50s through the '60s," said the Brooklyn native with that authentic accent. "We'll hear Fats Domino, Chris Kenner, Earl King, Frogman Henry, Irma Thomas, Betty Harris and lots more."
In the late '70s and '80s, Accardi and his band, the Laughing Dogs, were staples in the punk/new wave scene in New York City, particularly at the legendary CBGB's club, where they'd play with the likes of Blondie, Patti Smith and others.
In fact, a forthcoming major motion picture based on the club may feature some of the Laughing Dogs' music from the era. The band recorded three albums on Columbia Records.
Part of Jimmi's success on air can also be traced to, surprise, his mother. Jimmi calls his mom most shows for an update on her life, some candid opinions and, often, one of her recipes.
"As weird as I am, I was afraid at first to put her on the air," recalls Jimmi. "'Will she run wild?' I thought. But she seems so real that people love hearing her."
When his mother visited KVMR two years ago, she was ogled as the center of attention.
"I never thought that I would be a radio celebrity," his mom recalled. "But you made me feel like a queen for a day and touched my heart in a special way."
An irreverent, wise-cracking son and an equal hoot of a mother. Now that's the KVMR way.
David Bromberg and his band are scheduled for an in-studio interview and performance this Saturday during Wesley Robertson's "Rockin' and Stompin'" show (2-4 p.m., KVMR 89.5 FM, kvmr.org). With tickets nearly sold out at press time for his Saturday night show at The Center For The Arts, this may be the only chance for many fans to hear Bromberg perform live during this rare tour.
A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer "citizen-broadcasters." Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org.