Veteran music supervisor and radio DJ Gary Calamar is leaving KCRW after 25 years. Calamar hosted a weekly Sunday evening show from 6 to 8 p.m. This Sunday, Sept. 23, will be his final appearance.
“I’m very sorry to leave KCRW, which has been my radio home for 25 years,” Calamar tells Variety. “I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been offered, but times change, and it’s time to move on. I’m looking forward to what the future brings.”
Calamar is in talks with both terrestrial and satellite radio for his next show.
Says station MD Jason Bentley: “Gary Calamar has been a valued DJ on KCRW for as long as I can remember. His passion for music, keen sense of humor, and dedication to bringing the very best to the station every Sunday evening are all things we sincerely appreciate. However, all things must pass, and at a time of great change for the station, we are making programming changes to welcome new ideas and personalities. We thank Gary and wish him the very best moving forward.”
Calamar is best-known as a music supervisor for film and TV, with a resume that includes Alan Ball’s “True Blood,” “Six Feet Under” and “Here and Now,” “Dexter,” “Entourage,” “Weeds” and “House.” His current projects include Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” about to begin its third season and DC Universe/Warner Bros.’ “Titans.” Among his achievements is the stunning end to the “Six Feet Under” finale, where Sia’s “Breathe Me” was the soundtrack to the characters’ fast-forwarded destinies, which the singer often cites as a turning point which led to her garnering a record deal. He co-wrote the song “Let’s Boot and Rally” for Iggy Pop, who performed in in “True Blood” and the soundtracks he produced for the series earned Grammy nominations in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Gary has performed as a singer-songwriter himself, releasing an EP on Atlantic Records, “You Are What You Listen To,” in 2014, then the singles “Looking for a Job” in 2015 and “Little Tokyo”/“Prince of Pico Blvd.” in 2018. He also hosts the regular Mimosa Music Series at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood on Sunday mornings as a showcase aimed at music supervisors.
Gary’s first big break came with the 1998 film, “Slums of Beverly Hills,” which led to jobs on “Varsity Blues,” both of which he worked on with G. Marq Roswell, whom he credits as a mentor. In 2010 and 2011, he was named Music Supervisor of the Year for Television by the Guild of Music Supervisors.
In 2006, he founded Go Music for his various music supervision exercises.
The Bronx-born, Yonkers, NY-raised Calamar moved to Los Angeles in the early ‘80s, managing L.A. record stores like Licorice Pizza, Moby Disc and Rhino Records, and managed the I.R.S. Records group The Balancing Act with Jeff Davis and Willie Aron.
He is the co-author of the 2009 book, “Record Store Days: From Vinyl to Digital and Back Again,” with music journalist Phil Gallo.