By Union-Tribune, Karla Peterson
Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.
When the local Magic 92.5 FM disc jockey known as “Xavier The X-Man” cooks up his weekly “Sunday Night Oldies Show,” the ingredients vary. A little Motown here, some doo-wop there, the trippy “Crystal Blue Persuasion” blasting everywhere.
But whether he is warming up a Smokey Robinson tune or simmering some “Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MG’s, the X-Man’s menu is all about heaping portions of musical comfort food served by a host who can’t imagine spending his Sunday nights with anyone but you.
“That has always been the goal of the show. How can I be part of people’s lives and how can they be a part of my life?” the DJ said from his home in Little Italy. “You’re making dinner, or you’re outside having a barbecue or you’re working on the car and the kids are running around, and the show is in the background. I can’t be there, but the show can be there.”
Airing Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m., Xavier’s Sunday-night show is dedicated to the kind of old-school music they don’t make anymore and the kind of old-fashioned hometown vibe we don’t get to feel often enough.
That means songs by War (“Slippin’ Into Darkness”), Barbara Lewis (“Hello Stranger”) and San Diego’s own Rosie and the Originals (“Angel Baby”). It means news about lowrider car shows (Xavier is a car fan and lowrider owner) and pitches for his pet projects, including his yearly holiday toy drive, which is being held Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at Luzita’s Taco Shop in Chula Vista. There are also meaty interviews with such drop-in visitors as Rep. Bob Filner, local-music legend Chunky Sanchez, and members of the Aztlan Car Club.
“That show just embodies what Xavier is,” said Fred Rico, program director of Magic 92.5, the old-school R&B outlet that was San Diego’s third most-popular station in the latest Arbitron radio ratings. “He is a really good person who wants to see people do well. His intentions are always good, and people can feel that through the airwaves.”
It’s a mix of music, civic outreach and one-on-one love that Xavier learned as a high schooler volunteering at the KHDC community radio station in Salinas, Calif. And while the stations got bigger over the years, the small-town spirit stayed the same.
“I like to showcase individuals and organizations that don’t always get recognition,” said the 41-year-old Xavier, who came to Magic 92.5 from Mega 100 in Los Angeles 10 years ago. “It’s like community radio on a commercial radio station.”
In addition to his Sunday-night show, Xavier is also Magic 92.5’s assistant program director and afternoon-drive DJ, a combination of duties that let him play the old-school R&B music and dance tunes he loves for the people who need it.
“I’ve always collected records. I would mow lawns to buy records. I was obsessed,” Xavier said of his days as a teenage vinyl nut. “This kind of music transcends everything. It really speaks to your soul. It’s good music, whether you listen to it in Coronado or La Jolla or Chula Vista. It just makes you feel good.”
On Sunday nights, Xavier lets the music speak for the music fans. Tune in, and you’ll hear daughters dedicating Aretha Franklin tunes to their mothers, guys dedicating Marvin Gaye classics to their girls, and maybe the occasional marriage proposal. During a recent show, a soldier called in from Iraq to dedicate Smokey Robinson’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy” to his wife.
“Sometimes, they’ll just say, ‘Xavier, can you pick the song?,’” said the DJ, whose Sunday-night show also airs on KOCN in Monterey and Hot 98.3 in Tucson. “And I’ll pick a song that fits how they feel.”
And at the end of every show, Xavier The X-Man will mark the spot by playing a version of the classic torch song “That’s All” by Thee Midniters. He plays it for his wife Alicia and his son Daniel, but the song belongs to anyone who’s listening.
“I have people who are 12 or 13 years old who know everything about the songs I play because their parents taught them. My mom taught me, and now I’m passing it down to my son. As time goes by, the music doesn’t fade away.”