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Dallas Radio and Jingle Pioneer Tom Merriman Died Early This Morning

Only a few days ago, Tom Merriman was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame -- the great Ron Chapman's introduction of the local-radio icon can be heard here. Says Chapman of Gordon McLendon's former music director, who came to Dallas in 1952, Merriman "shaped the sound of thousands of television and radio stations around the world." Which isn't hyperbole: Merriman's Dallas-based TM Studios is among the most successful commercial jingle and radio ID production companies in the business.

But sad news today: KLIF's first jingle writer, as well as the voice of "I'm Otto the Orkin Man" and the writer of the immortal 7-Eleven jingle-turned-single "Dance the Slurp" (used on Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow's Brainfreeze comp), died today "following several months of declining health," according to Radio Online. It also notes that he wrote and produced music for Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, among others. According to TM Studios' tribute to its founder, services are pending.

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