Christopher Douridas (born September 20, 1962) is a popular DJ and musical tastemaker at Santa Monica, California, radio station KCRW, where he hosts a two-hour program showcasing progressive new music. He is also a filmmaker, actor, television presenter, and a three-time Grammy-nominated producer of soundtracks and music videos.
Douridas was born in Columbus, Ohio. After attending North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) where he was involved in campus radio station KNTU-FM, Douridas went on in the 1980s to work in Dallas, Texas at public radio station KERA where he produced an innovative radio show called "90.1 at Night". While there, he created a series called "Sound Sessions", live radio sessions featuring Dallas area bands. This show gave a platform, recording resources and eventually compilation CD exposure to bands such as the Dixie Chicks. At the time the only other broadcasts that featured local bands were on KDGE.
In the 1990s, Chris Douridas became known as the host of KCRW's daily three-hour new music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic, bringing a personal character to the show. He was also the station's music director at the time. When he went independent of KCRW in 1998, he maintained a link to the station by presenting a two-hour program called "Ground Zero", which was renamed "New Ground" after the 9/11 attacks. Later, the show was extended to three hours.
Perhaps Douridas' greatest contribution to the station was his hiring of most of the on air staff including Liza Richardson (a former colleague at Dallas' KERA), Jason Bentley (formerly of KXLU, and current music director/host of "Morning Becomes Eclectic"), Garth Trinidad, Anne Litt, Gary Calamar, Kevin Ponthier (a former colleague at his college station, KNTU), and Tricia Halloran. Halloran recently left the station and is a staff music supervisor at Hum in Santa Monica, CA.
On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, KCRW launched an online 24 hour music channel. Created and curated by Douridas, who has programmed the channel since its inception, the concept features a continuous original mix of its unique eclectic programming, including many exclusive live tracks captured from on air performances first broadcast on its flagship daily music program Morning Becomes Eclectic and other programs.
Douridas has carved an extensive career in film music supervision producing the soundtracks of such films as American Beauty, Shrek 2, As Good as It Gets and the Austin Powers trilogy. His work on 1999's American Beauty and 2004's Shrek 2 brought him Grammy nominations.
In the late '90s, Douridas was an A&R executive for DreamWorks Records, the label started by David Geffen, Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker. While there, he brought in the bands the Eels and Propellerheads.
While attending a wrap party for his latest film project at a venue called Bardot, upstairs from the Avalon Hollywood on Vine Street, Douridas was invited to come back to DJ and curate an evening at the venue. A few months later, on April 12, 2010, he hosted the first in a weekly series described as a 'new Monday night Hollywood party'. The inaugural evening featured live performances from Dawes, The Like and a DJ set from fellow KCRW host Anne Litt. In its first year, the series was named "America's Best Party" by Paper Magazine. Since then, School Night, named for the excuse colleagues gave for not being able to attend the late night weeknight event, has become a launch pad for new artist projects. The night is produced in collaboration with LA promoter Matt Goldman. Booking and production of the night is handled by Carly Evans. To date, the series has featured the US debuts of London Grammar, Michael Kiwanuka, Chet Faker, Liam Bailey, and Katy B, among others, and the LA debuts of The Naked and Famous, Two Door Cinema Club, Twin Shadow, Maximum Balloon, Tom Odell, Villagers, and MNDR. Additionally, the night often hosts surprise appearances from iconic artists as well, with past appearances by Moby, Ben Folds, Chrissie Hynde, Florence and the Machine, Daniel Lanois, Brett Dennen, Vanessa Carlton with Stevie Nicks, Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones, Neil Finn, Matisyahu and Kimbra.
A monthly event dubbed School Night NYC was launched at The Bowery Hotel in 2010. In July 2013, Douridas announced a weekly series would start September 8, 2013 at Brooklyn Bowl, in Brooklyn, New York.
Douridas' began his career as an actor in Texas. While in high school, he was a national champion at the 1980 National Forensics Competition. At North Texas State University, he was a theater major and scholarship recipient. In the late '80s, Douridas appeared on stage at the Dallas Theater Center, Stage #1, and Dallas Repertory Theater. Film acting credits include the 1984 television movie The Jesse Owens Story, 1986 episode of Dalton's Code of Vengeance, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Waterworld, and Wim Wenders' 1997 film The End of Violence. Television roles include appearances on Party of Five and Ellen.
Douridas hosted the inaugural season of Sessions at West 54th, a live interview and performance series on PBS. The first season featured sessions with Beck, Fiona Apple, Philip Glass, Ani DiFranco, Yo Yo Ma, Sinéad O'Connor, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, and David Byrne, among others. Douridas brought in renowned documentarian D.A. Pennebaker to shoot the accompanying interview segments for each of the first season's performances.
Online: AOL and iTunes
Douridas was VP of Music for America Online, overseeing the popular Radio@AOL service, a network of 125 original online radio stations. This service was created by Spinner.com, a project spearheaded by Josh Felser and Jim Van Huysse. Felser lured Douridas from DreamWorks. While at AOL, Douridas launched the online interview and performance series "Sessions@AOL", which he hosted and produced.
Following his work with AOL, Douridas was hired by Apple's Steve Jobs to be a creative consultant for the launch of the iTunes music store, creating and producing the iTunes Originals series and iTunes Essentials, a popular lifestyle playlist series.
In January 2006, Douridas and a friend were arrested at the Circle Bar in Santa Monica after a witness accused them of trying to drug and kidnap a female patron. The girl was taken to a local hospital and later released. Police awaited toxicology reports before deciding whether to file charges. Douridas maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, and the girl supported his story. Eventually all charges relating to the girl were dropped.
On April 30, 2006, Douridas' only daughter died in a drowning accident at her family's home in South Pasadena. She was 14 years old.
Film Music Credits
- In a World..., Roadside Attractions, (2013).
- What Maisie Knew (film), Millenium Entertainment, (2013).
- The Details (film), Weinstein Company, (2011).
- Megamind, DreamWorks, (2010).
- Shrek Forever After, DreamWorks, (2010).
- Legion (2010 film), Sony Pictures, (2010).
- The Education of Charlie Banks, Strongheart Pictures, (2009).
- Monsters vs. Aliens, DreamWorks, (2009).
- The Women (2008 film), New Line, (2008).
- American Teen, A&E IndieFilms, (2008).
- Bobby (2006 film), The Weinstein Company, (2007) (With Joel Sill).
- Over the Hedge (film), DreamWorks, (2006).
- Rumor Has It…, Warner Bros., (2005).
- Madagascar (2005 film), DreamWorks, (2005).
- The Chumscrubber, El Camino, (2005).
- Shrek 2, DreamWorks, (2004). Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - nominee
- The Girl Next Door (2004 film), Regency, (2004).
- Under the Tuscan Sun, Touchstone, (2003).
- Down With Love, Warner Bros., (2003) (With Laura Wasserman Ziffren).
- The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 film), Spyglass, (2002).
- One Hour Photo, Fox Searchlight, (2002).
- American Beauty (film), DreamWorks, (1999). Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - nominee
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, New Line, (1999).
- As Good as It Gets, TriStar, (1997).
- One Eight Seven, Warner Bros., (1997).
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, New Line, (1997).
- Grosse Pointe Blank, Hollywood, (1997).
- Grace of My Heart, Universal, (1996).
- Heat (1995 film), Warner Bros., (1995).
- Grammy Nominees - grammy.com
- Independent Music Awards - 7th Annual Judges
- "And the Envelope Please..." http://www.papermag.com/2010/10/and_the_envelope_please_the_wi.php
- "Radio's Chris Douridas Arrested" http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jan/14/local/me-kcrw14
- Official website
- Chris Douridas at the Internet Movie Database
- Filmography at New York Times
- New Ground home page
- Biography at KCRW
- Douridas' eight top albums of 2005 at npr.org
- official Grammy site