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Hanging With Jack Harris; More Talk about TV Theme Songs on WNYC in New York



JacharrisI'm not sure what possessed me to spend a day hanging with good-guy radio/TV personality Jack Harris, other than my fascination with how many jobs this guy has.

When we met for lunch last month, we counted five official jobs: morning guy at WFLA-AM, afternoon commentaries for ABC Action News, co-hosting the Mayor's Hour for Tampa city government television, announcing Tampa Bay Storm games and helping with Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio coverage.Harris4

That doesn't factor in the endless charity events he hosts, often for free, or all the commercial endorsements he does for radio and television. Over the years, he's worked for nearly every local TV station with original broadcasting (Ch. 8, 13, 28, 44 and Bay News 9, to be exact), three different local radio stations and even occasionally wrote columns for the St. Petersburg Times.

I thought it might be fun to spend a day bird-dogging his trail; the story which resulted ran today. I'm chalking his success up to a good guy demeanor and insane work ethic, which finds him getting up to work at 3 a.m. and getting home after 10 p.m., some days.

WNYC Discusses My TV Theme Song Story

Tvthemesongslogorhino  I had a wonderful time yesterday afternoon discussing my story about the vanishing TV theme song with the folks at WNYC-FM's Soundcheck program. The show, produced by New York's National Public Radio station, is a compelling program about music, and we spent about a half-hour yesterday discussing the state of the TV theme song with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, the husband and wife team who wrote the theme song to Good Times among other things.

The best revelation: The Bergmans finally cleared up the question of the second-to-last line in the Good Times Theme.

Good_times If you know the song, you know what I'm talking about. There's a portion right before the end where the singers do a call and response: "Temporary layoffs. GOOD TIMES! Easy credit ripoffs. GOOD TIMES! Scratching and surviving. GOOD TIMES!"

And this was where they lost me. What was the woman saying in the next line? The Bergmans say the line is "hanging out and jiving." Check it out through this link and tell me what you think.   

WNYC also has a pretty cool page set up around the discussion, complete with a link to streaming audio of the show. I remain amazed at how far word of this story has traveled; the WNYC story was the third radio interview I've done regarding the piece, which has been reprinted in the Miami Herald, Denver Post, Chicago Tribune,, the Victoria Times Colonist (in Canada) and elsewhere. The page on WNYC's site turned out to be one of the most emailed stories of the day.

Just shows how far an interesting idea can travel in today's media universe. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:43pm]


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