Jim Nayder, a veteran producer and programmer at Chicago’s WBEZ, died June 28 at the age of 59.
The cause of death was unknown, but Nayder had battled alcoholism for years, his daughter and ex-wife told the Chicago Tribune.
Nayder was best known as host and producer of The Annoying Music Show!, a three-minute weekly program that dug up musical oddities. He launched the show on WBEZ in 1995 and NPR picked it up for national distribution two years later. Nayder appeared regularly on Weekend Edition to chat about annoying music with host Scott Simon. The program also spawned CD compilations and live performances.
But Nayder also had a serious side, which he revealed by producing the series Magnificent Obsession: True Stories of Recovery, which aired weekly from 1992 to 2012. The show presented first-person stories of those struggling with addiction.
He began his public radio career in the late 1970s working in WBEZ’s programming department, where he helped to craft the station’s sound. He also helped orchestrate WBEZ’s first on-air fundraiser.
“Jim Nayder was a sweet soul and a cockeyed wit in a world with too little of both,” Simon said on the June 29 episode of Weekend Edition while paying tribute to his friend.