Here's a little
background on me and on the Potpourri jingle
I started collecting jingles in high school. I lived
in West Caldwell, NJ, and began my collection with
tapes from WVNJ, WNEW, and WABC. A cold call to
Julian Breen resulted in a reel from WABC containing
Series 34C and Series 37. PAMS was kind enough to
send me the demos for Series 28, 34AB, and 36, and I
was on my way!
During my senior year of high school, I met a
substitute teacher named Howard Trombley. He
casually mentioned one day that Dan Ingram was his
nephew, and that was enough to get me up on the 7th
floor at WABC Radio, meeting Dan and watching his
show in 7A. It would be the first of many visits,
and Dan and I still trade Christmas cards each year.
I put together my first jingle sampler in 1970 at my
college radio station, WCPR, at Stevens Institute of
Technology, in Hoboken. By then, I had made the
acquaintance of Jon Wolfert (who was then at WNTC at
Clarkson Tech in Potsdam, NY), a friendship that
lasts to this day. That first jingle compendium was
called, well, "Sampler 1," followed rapidly by
The next year, I proceeded to flunk out of Stevens
("Classes? Who needs classes when there's a college
radio station to live at?!"), and transferred to
Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL,
just east of St. Louis, MO (the home of legendary
stations like KXOK, KBOX and WIL).
That was the birthplace of Potpourri 1, in early
1972. I decided to try an experiment: using SIUE's
radio station automation system to build a jingle
WSIE's automation was typical of the early 70s:
14"-reel Scully tape decks, several cart machines,
and a cart carousel. The programming for the
playback was done by a series of thumbwheels, one
for each event (specifying the source). Each time I
would add a cut, I'd have to totally redo the
thumbwheels, a real pain!
I selected the cuts, and dubbed every other one
(A/B/A/B, etc.) onto two 10.5 minute carts. I had
originally put secondary trip tones on each cut at
the desired segue point. One or two turned out to be
too early or late, so on playback I had to manually
"un-engage" the automation, trigger the next cut
when I wanted it, skip that trigger thumbwheel, and
re-engage the automation!
The opening was a Series 22 jingle, with a sonovox
overlay done by Ken Justiss when I visited him at
his college apartment in Bloomington, IN.
I decided to have some fun at the start, so I got a
news reader at WSIE to just talk off-the-cuff about
jingles, which turned into a brief rant about them
being "nonsensical," which he had trouble
pronouncing (I left in his flub!). The novelty wore
off quickly, and I moved on just playing the
I included some outtakes and comedy cuts, like the
Westgate Dodge spot (NSFW!) and the Series 33 demo
edits (done by, if I remember correctly, "K&H
Productions," and also NSFW!).
There was a PAMS track, to which I added a drop-in
voice from my WCPR shows, and a cut that Jon Wolfert
had created for another college station, and one he
had done at TM for his college station, WNTC, where
Jon had TM sing "The most music" in a PAMS WABC
style (and which I led into with a Schickhaus
bologna radio spot excerpt following a Pepper-Tanner
jingle ("After that, I'd like to hear the jingle YOU
wrote!" "Really, Pop? Sure!").
I also put in a TM "Image 73" WNBC singalong cut
("This is the station…"). The original version of my
sampler had the full cut followed by its full track.
Years later, I removed the track, but made a
one-word "omission edit" as my comment on the
corniness of the jingle!
Also in the oddity department, I added an EBS Test
produced by WLOF, a WKYC cut (possibly the dumbest
sports jingle ever produced), and a clip from the
PAMS Series 42 demo (the one without a Cut 25).
The ending is a Sears commercial featuring Trella
Hart, with a now-meaningless voiceover by another
As I checked out the sequencing, I decided to insert
a few more cuts in specific places, and skip one or
two on the original carts, so I had a half-dozen or
so individual cuts on carts, and had to adjust each
of the thumbwheels appropriately (a tedious task).
Playback was from the two main ATC cart decks, with
the individual add-in cuts running on carts in the
Gates carousel. I sat in the main control room down
the hall, remotely manually tweaking a few segues
(turning the automation on or off, with manual
advances), and recording on reel-to-reel tape at 7 ½
ips (we didn't have any 15ips machines). The result,
Potpourri 1, went out to, I believe, nine people.
Shortly afterward, in May, 1972, I made my first
pilgrimage to PAMS in Dallas. With the help of Mr.
Wolfert, and despite one terrifying midnight
cockroach encounter, I returned with 14 7" reels and
one 5" reel, filled with WABC and KXOK/WIL/KIRL
Potpourri 2 was again automation system-based, and
would probably have been done in June, 1972. It too
was sent out to less than a dozen collectors. The
original opening included a Series 17 generic cut,
"Curtain's going up on..." with Jim Clancy saying
"Ron Harris, visiting PAMS."
Potpourri 2 almost exclusively featured jingles from
the PAMS reels I'd dubbed. The first half was all
WABC, then the St. Louis stations.
By August, the every-other-cut cart novelty was
wearing off, and I splurged on two reel-to-reel
decks, a Teac A-1230 and an Akai GX-220D. Future
samplers (Potpourri 3, 3 1/2, and 4) were made on
In 1973, I graduated SIUE and went to KGMO, Cape
Girardeau, MO, doing evenings and shortly
thereafter, afternoon drive. I also became
In April, 1975, I left Cape Girardeau and went to
work with Ken Justiss at TM Productions in Dallas,
making me the third collector to work for one of the
major jingle companies. I produced demos, wrote
commercial copy, mixed jingle packages, etc., for
three and a half years.
In October, 1978, I moved to Los Angeles, doing
freelance engineering and production (radio
specials, national radio spots for Warner Bros.
Records, music demos, etc.) and in 1981 went to work
for the Westwood One Radio Networks, producing
shows, specials and spots. I continued doing all
that, and ended up also programming and running the
PBX phone system and doing network admin, as Senior
Director of Technical Operations (Chief Engineer).
Westwood One was bought in 2011, and the new
management laid off 98% of us, so in February, 2012,
I retired after 31 years there.