On this day May 28th Weird Al Yankovic left his job as a mail clerk, after signing a contract for his first album.
Alfred Matthew Yankovic known as Weird Al Yankovic was born on October 23rd 1959, in Downey California, but was raised in the city of Lynwood.
Where did the last name Yankovic come from?
Alfred’s father was born in Kansas City Missouri, and was of Yugoslavian descent, and began living in California after serving in World War II, his father believed “the key to success,” was doing a living in whatever makes you happy, and often reminded his young son Alfred of his philosophy in life.
Alfred’s mother Mary who was Italian of English decent had come to California from Kentucky and gave birth to Alfred ten years later, after meeting his father.
Yankovic began kindergarten a year earlier than most children, and he skipped second grade. “My classmates seemed to think I was some kind of rocket scientist so I was labeled a nerd early on,” he recalls.
Yankovic first accordion lesson, which sparked his career in music, was on the day before his sixth birthday. A door-to-door salesman traveling through Lynwood offered the Yankovic parents a choice of accordion or guitar lessons at a local music school.
Yankovic claims the reason his parents chose accordion over guitar was “they figured there should be at least one more accordion-playing Yankovic in the world”, referring to Frankie Yankovic, to whom he is not related directly too.
Frank John “Frankie” Yankovic was a Grammy Award-winning polka musician. Known as “America’s Polka King,” Yankovic was considered the premier artist to play in the Slovenian style during his long career.
After Yankovic graduated in 1975 from Lynwood High he was also valedictorian of his senior class.
After high school, he went on to attend California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
During Yankovic sophomore year as an architecture student at Cal Poly, he became a disc jockey at KCPR the university’s radio station. Yankovic said he had originally been nicknamed Weird Al by fellow students and “took it on professionally” as his persona for the station.
Trying to make ends meet during his sophomore year, he became a mail clerk, and in the mid 1970’s, shortly before his senior year, “My Sharona” by The Knack was on the charts and Yankovic took his accordion into the restroom across the hall from the radio station to take advantage of the echo chamber acoustics and recorded a parody titled, “My Bologna.”
Today’s YouTube clip brought to you by user name Weird Al Master 27, is the recorded version of Weird Al Yankovic playing the song, “My Bologna,” in the bathroom.
Yankovic sent the recorded tape and sent his song to the popular radio show called, “The Doctor Demento Show,” who played Yankovic tape on the air.
After getting an overwhelming response, Yankovic met The Knack after doing a show at his college, and introduced himself as the author of “My Bologna”.
The Knack’s lead singer, Doug Fieger who sang the song, “My Sharona,” said he liked the song “My Bologna,” and suggested that Capitol Records vice president Rupert Perry release it as a single, which is when Yankovic left his job as mail clerk, to purse his new career as a songwriter, parodist and the rest is history.
Written and Designed by JD Mitchell