Tom Merriman dead at 85


When the Texas Radio Hall of Fame inducted Tom Merriman just this month he wasn’t able to attend, having recently broken his hip. Now, the jingle studio he founded, TM Studios, reports that Merriman had died at age 85.

“Tom Merriman. Genius. Forgive me for being redundant,” said Jim Long, TM’s co-founder in a note on the company’s website.

A tribute to Merriman provides some of the highlights of his life.

In 1952 he was tapped by Gordon McLendon to be the music arranger for his Liberty Network band.

Merriman wrote and recorded the first radio jingle [for KLIF] ever recorded in Dallas.

He wrote countless commercials in the early days of the business that are still recognizable and remembered, today, including recording the voice on his classic, “I’m Otto, the Orkin Man.”

He and Long launched TM in 1967 and TM Studios continues to be an industry leader today.

And there was much more packed into those 85 years.