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BJ Leiderman: 'I'm The Luckiest Composer On The Planet'

BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music for <em>Weekend Edition</em> and other public-radio programs.
Brad Nathanson
/
Courtesy of the artist
BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music for <em>Weekend Edition</em> and other public-radio programs.

If you're a regular NPR listener, you know BJ Leiderman's music. Leiderman is the John Williams of public radio: He's written the theme music for programs like Morning Edition, Marketplace and, yes, Weekend Edition.

Now, the composer has released his first album, BJ, a collection of songs he's written over the past several decades. The Randall Bramblett Band acts as Leiderman's backing band, and banjo master Béla Fleck is featured on three tracks.

"I'm the luckiest composer on the planet," Leiderman says. "It's the perfect storm of being in the right place at the right time, with the right bunch of chords and a good melody ... It all just came together."

Hear Leiderman's full conversation with NPR's Scott Simon — including a pretty convincing John Lennon impression and a comic tale about a fire alarm at NPR headquarters — at the audio link.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.