Sleepy John Sandidge turns 70

Our heartfelt congratulations to ‘Sleepy John’ Sandidge, KPIG on-air host and local Snazzy Productions major domo. John, who is at this moment vacationing in New Zealand, was the center of attention last Sunday at a big birthday party bash at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

There was lots of live music — particular huzzahs to fine young singer/songwriter Tess Dunn — and much merry-making, the highlight of which had to be comic Richard Stockton’s canny impersonation of a Santa Cruz policeman who then “arrested” Sleepy John, dragged him outside where he was pummeled with various pies in the face.

With the exception of the late Laura Ellen Hopper, no one has done more to establish Santa Cruz as a beachhead for the down-home, Austin-flavored, anti-Nashville sound known as “Americana.” He’s truly one of Santa Cruz’s cool dudes, even if he’s beginning to show some age. “You’ve heard it said that 40 is the new 30,” said toastmaster Jeff Dunn. “And that 50 is the new 40. Well, John, unfortunately, 70 is still 70.”

Happy Birthday, Sleepy John.

P.S.: I’ll be sitting in for John on KPIG’s live “Please Stand By” music show this coming Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Sit a spell and give a listen.

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