BEN FREEDMAN

A DETAILED HISTORY

Almost 50 years in the Radio and Jingle business

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1962

BEN FREEDMAN is growing up in suburban Buffalo, NY. At age 12 Ben loves to play drums with his group "The Ball Bearings" On his first visit to Los Angeles Ben simply walks into the Hollywood Blvd. studio of KFWB. The only word was amazing! He sees top 40 radio history unfolding before his own eyes. Ben was now ripe for the radio bug to bite! The sound of the station from the air monitor was magic.

Ben spends the summer at camp in upstate New York listening to PAMS series 22 for WKBW. Ben is also comparing WKBW to WBBF Rochester, WGR and WEBR Buffalo jingles. He pondered his recent conclusion that the jocks, music, promos and commercials were interchangeable. However, the station ID jingles (which were fixed to one client in a market) were really the true personality and signature of the stations. Ben also studied every commercial jingle on radio and TV.

1964

BEN IS INSPIRED by many including his cousin (Fred Bock) who owned two record stores. Ben needs jingles for his pirate radio station "WAY Buffalo" in his basement at 274 Berryman Dr. At age 14 he starts WAY Radio Productions and uses neighborhood talent to make primitive jingles for WAY Radio. Some are recustomized for small college stations and other pirates.

Ben has formed an admiration for the truly great jingle companies PAMS, Pepper and CRC. He is serving as a "go for" apprentice at WKBW with the famous jocks including Joey Reynolds, Dan Neaverth, Rod Roddy, Jay Nelson, Jeff Kaye, Stan Roberts and more. Ben also worships WABC, WMCA, WQAM and KFWB. Ben also studies Tommy Shannon on WGR. His friendships in Buffalo radio begin over the years with Steve Stevens (AKA Roger Christian of WMJQ Buffalo) Howard Lapides, Kevin OíConnell, Production Guru Steve Mitchell, Mike Styn, Tom McCray, Bob Bender, Tom Truman, and many more.

In the summer of í64 Ben visits the New York Worldís Fair. Of course, he sat in the reception area of WABC until they agreed to let him go back and briefly visit with Dan Ingram. Ben has kept in contact with Dan and his wife Moreen all these years. Heís the greatest!! Ben has also kept in touch with Herb Oscar Anderson of WABC morning radio fame!!

Ben also visits the studios of WLS in Chicago on a Sunday afternoon. One of the former WKBW DJís is on the air and allows Ben to sit in! Yes, it was Art Roberts.

 

1966

BEN LANDS FIRST AIR SHIFT at Gordon McLendonís WYSL FM in Buffalo under direct supervision of the Old Scotsman himself (along with his legal eagle PD Johnny [Dark) Barger]. Leaving high school early to go on air afternoons and Saturday AM, Ben is soaking in the McLendon personal training. Ben later works for other stations in Buffalo and elsewhere.

He and Steve build a brand new studio at 501A North Forest Road. Ben has a regular rock Ďn roll afternoon drive air shift in a top 25 market at age 16. He worshiped the "DJíís only" room with all free promo copies at Buffalo One Stop (Lenny and Larry Silver) and Action One Stop (Jerry Meyers). Tim Kelly becomes Benís new PD at WYSL FM before lightning blows out the signature tower on the Larkin Building.

1967

This is an incredible time for top 40 radio. WABC and WMCA are battling it out in New York. KFWB, KHJ and KRLA are going at it in LA. WQAM and WFUN are trying to be faster, cooler and of course play more music. Everywhere, from coast to coast, stations are trying to out promote and out jingle each other. And yes, donít forget all those great commercial jingles. Do you know how many cigarette brands had jingles? Could life be better for a jingle guy?

Ben will soon again travel to Los Angeles (with his buddy Steve) for a classic visit to KHJ where they meet with Don Steele in the DJ lounge and Charlie Tuna on air. Next stop was Reb Porter on KRLA. Also on the trip was a stop at KXOK in St. Louis, KISN and KGAR Portland and WIFE Indianapolis. Shortly after, Ben is accepted at Butler University in Indianapolis and Steve at Franklin College near Indianapolis.

1968

During his college years Ben operates WAY Productions, Inc. in the Broad Ripple section of Indianapolis as a full time recording studio and jingle company. Ben gets to know Don Worsham who is a remote news cameraman at WISH TV. (Don and our good buddy Tracy Carman are the folks from the Media Preservation Foundation) Ben worships KHJ, CKLW, etc. and the Drake concept but also worships WABC style PAMS personality jingles and theme music.

 

1969

BEN LAUNCHES ACAPELLAS UNLIMITED. Back in the North Forest Road studio in Buffalo Ben launches a response to the Drake format with great results on over 50 stations. TM Productions starts a ten-year streak to take over the ID jingle world from PAMS. Ben is in his second year as an agent for Gwinsound with Ken Justiss. New jingle buddies include Don Brown and Alan Moore.

Ben is studying and producing commercial jingles, production music and promo music at the same time as station IDís. Ben demonstrates to his very young visitor Jon Wolfert (amazing jingle pro who founded Jam 5 years later) one of his first experiences in jingle production during a stay at his studio/home in suburban Buffalo on July 20 (watching the famous moon landing together). Ben was busy with vocal sessions for the Acapellas Unlimited demo when Wolfert visited.

 

Ken Justiss, Jon Wolfert, Ed Rothschild and Mike Gitlin (and others) are jingle buddies who visit Ben in Buffalo in this era. These were the golden days when the "teenage jingle collectors" dream was equal reverence for PAMS series 18 through 36, TM Sockapellas, Now Radio and many hot shotguns, Gwinsound Series 5 and 9Ö.. and of course all those new Drake packages. Letís not forget about Pepper, Spot and others! ID jingles were magic.

1974

BEN NEW STUDIOS. Ben builds his third and very excellent sound studio in his new home at 126 Winston Rd. in Buffalo including an MCI JH110 8 track master recorder and Neuman U87 microphones. Ben reinvents the company name again to WAY Audio Creations with the addition of his new connection with Roger Luther. Roger did an incredible job with his "worldís largest Moog Synthesizer" made at the Moog factory in Buffalo. Roger was quality control manager.

 

New singers and musicians are also included. Packages will soon be on air on many stations around the world including BBC Radio One and Radio Luxembourg. Famous European DJ Emperor Rosko helps promote WAY Audio Creations around the globe. Ben also begins an associate relationship with Bill and Dennis Meeks who are the owners of the great PAMS of Dallas.

Ken Justiss is now working at TM and the folks at PAMS have little idea that they are about to go into a nosedive. Back in 1971, Jon Wolfert had realized his ambition to work at PAMS by staying in touch with Bill Meeks until an opening came up! Now was the time for Jon to move - He and his wife Mary Lyn starts Jam. Well timed considering the imminenet demise of PAMS.

1975

Ben broke into the domestic market with Concept III on nearly 100 stations before the end of its run in the 1980ís. This package was followed up with numerous hot packages recorded in the Buffalo home studio. WAY Audio Creations is cranking out shotgun jingles at a rate of nearly 300 cuts per month for stations worldwide. The Al Ripley singers in Buffalo are doing serious volume! Ken Justiss is now in his prime at TMís upward spiral.

Ben also encounters a few legal problems associated with the collections of debt and violations of licensing terms with various stations. This was due to the increase in volume of jingles out the door. The reality of copyright enforcement was put to the test.

More emphasis on contractual obligations needed to be put in place as a copyright registration alone was not effective. One station, WHPB in Belton, SC defaulted on a large jingle package. To the credit of WHPB a low payment schedule of $20.00 per month was established and the loan paid off over many years. A large advertising agency went out of business including defaulting on a large commercial jingle. More attention to detail in contracts was needed.

Ben is very active in jingles now and moves his offices to his Dadís tool company on Niagara Street near the International Peace Bridge to Canada. Ben doubles as Production Manager of Bergman Tool Co. with 100 employees.

 

1976

BENíS WAY AUDIO CREATIONS forms a new marketing association with several other audio producers including International Programming Services in Los Angeles, Tommy Calandra Productions in Buffalo, House Q Studios in Buffalo and ATB Productions in London. The new association is called Creative Productions Marketing Group or CPMG Incorporated for short.

 

 

1980

BENíS DALLAS TRIP was historic. (7/20/80) First a visit to Toby Arnold to discuss joint marketing of PAMS and then a visit to see the guys at JAM.

Late that year CPMG, Ken R. Music of Toledo and Toby Arnold form a loose association to individually market Ben and Kenís resings of the classic PAMS tracks. Ken R. directly markets reference copy dubs to collectors and resings of old PAMS commercials and IDís. Toby did a few ID resings for greats like WFIL, WAXY and WTWR but mainly concentrates on his goal of creating a production library of old PAMS beds and effects. Production guru Marshall Such put the PAMS library together for Toby.

Ken Rís attorney in Toledo gives the OK for the PAMS products to be sold by Ben. Ben sharpens his marketing teeth. Barry Charnley and Chris Elliott are the new marketing agents in the UK under the name PAMS International. Ben soon will be mixing new and classic PAMS Dallas vocal sessions at Alan Baumgartnerís 24 track Trackmaster studios in Buffalo. Ken Justiss did PAMS mixing for a short time.

Ben and Ken R. are very busy with PAMS (old and new products). Kenís singing up a storm in Toledo. Top CPMG/PAMS clients will include Paul Sidney at WLNG, Frank Holler at WDRC FM, WIOQ and KLOU, Dale Parsons at WNBC, Jim Gabbert at KOFY in San Francisco and Jim Waters at CHUM in Toronto. Ben and Ken R. start to assemble and market the PAMS Pro Pack sounder library.

 

1985

BENíS BIG RETURN TO DALLAS. Ben runs into the entire crew from Jam and TM when he brings PAMS back to Dallas to "Battle" it out on the floor of the NAB Radio í85 convention. Several other jingle companies are also represented.

CPMG was averaging over 300 resings per month (which was small potatoes compared to Jam and TM but still way up there). Ben is learning some prime marketing lessons from The Real Howard Johnson of Z104 who bought a zillion PAMS resings a year from Ben in those days. The new Radio Caroline was also a hot account. Many new accounts in Finland were opened up through Joke Linnima. This was "prime time" for CPMG/PAMS.

 

Ben and Ken continued to crank out a good number of commercial jingles including lots with the help of Paul Sidney and WLNG. WLNG would receive free station IDís in return for a little assistance with the local Long Island merchants. This included a Dallas production for Waldbaumís supermarket, a fairly large player if you are from the NYC metro area.

 

 

Pool At Tampico Dr. Plano, TX

1988

BEN MOVES TO DALLAS. After eight great years of marketing all of the old and newly created PAMS materials to over 500 stations including WCBS FM. Ben moves from Buffalo to Dallas to become Vice President of jingle sales for the "new and upcoming" Century 21 Programming, Inc. (not the real estate folks).

Ben, Richie Allen and Dave Scott of TM/Century bought and personally picked up a mountain of PAMS masters owned by Toby Arnold in a truck in 1989. Two days after the pick up, Toby Arnoldís garage burned down to the ground. Ken R. came to Dallas to check out all the PAMS materials from Toby! Shortly after they were on their way to the new archive home in downtown Toledo.

Production of PAMS brand packages continued but by the early 1990ís programmers of many top oldies stations had cycled through the old PAMS sounds. The name PAMS was becoming closely tied with an older, out dated image. Most went on to newer "Drake Package" concepts (not Paul Sidney of course). Otis Conner, a brilliant salesman, produced many oldies format resings (the Drake Packages) with the help of super engineer Tony Griffin. Prime salesman is Steve Gustafson.

PAMS was on the decline for Ben and associates after a great upward run. PAMS was no longer a moneymaker for Ben but it still was a great "positive attention getter" with the older programmers.

Ben kicked off his new relationship with Century 21 with a custom package from WABC New York. Ben also formed a new association with Ricky the Kís Solid Gold Time Machine and Bill Meeks for the production of PAMS classic resings including many for KOMA.

Ben never claimed to be in anyway the actual continuation of the original PAMS, Inc. Ben concluded he would try to represent CPMG/PAMS and not the original PAMS entity knowing the cloudy history of the disposition of the assets of PAMS, Inc.

1989

BEN VP OF TM/Century after the giant merger between the great companies of TM Productions, Media General/Pepper-Tanner and Century 21 Programming. Ben had the honor of sorting out and organizing the library of tens of thousands of masters and reference copies of these great jingle suppliers.

Many, many great jingles of almost every kind were produced in this area. One of Benís favorites was a commercial for Buffaloís Boulevard Mall. This was the time of the Century 21 Gold Disc III production with assistance from state-of-the-art Sonic Solution computer systems.

1991

BEN RESIGNS FROM TM CENTURY Ė GOES TO THOMPSON CREATIVE. Thompson Creative was a small specialized high quality jingle house in Dallas. Ben continued to market select PAMS resings recorded at Thompson. New unique resings for Radio Veronica were completed at the TM Regal Row studios with super guy Tom Cusic as engineer. Ben also continued his marketing relationship with Halland Broadcast Services and Manhattan Production Music. Within 48 months of starting at Thompson, Ben had increased sales by 1000% and took Thompson to the top of the ladder.

 

1995

BEN FREEDMAN PRODUCTIONS Ė BEN RESIGNS FROM THOMPSON TO BECOME President of BEN FREEDMAN PRODUCTIONS of Dallas. Ben Freedman Productions was started as a new kind of jingle company. A company that put aside much of the administrative restrictions and red tape that was in place at Thompson Creative and TM Century.

Ben formed a new association with jingle legend Tom Merriman as a partner in Ben Freedman Productions. Ben also formed an association with legendary Muff Murfin in the UK and Gerald Stockton and Bruce Wermuth in Dallas. Associations were also made with Dallas greats Bud Guin (midi and guitar), Frank Hames (midi master) and Wai Leong (dynamic midi from LA). Ben worked in association with old buddy and legendary TM engineer Tony Griffin.

Famous singers include Brian Beck, Dan Alexander, the late Marv Shaw, Jim Clancy, Greg Clancy, Eric Tagg, Bruce Wermuth, Steve Haas, Johnny Hooper, Mike Collier, Abby Holmes, Kay Sharp, Gene Oliver, Judy Parma, Debbie Lee, Cheryl Clevenger, Anna Gray, Robin Brown, Debbie Hooper, Carol Piper, Jackie Dickson and many more.

Ben was deeply upset by the loss of Bob Piper to cancer, one of PAMS and TMís great writers, arrangers and just plain nicest guy in the entire Dallas Metroplex. Bobís son Brian carries out the tradition and has worked for Ben in years past on keyboard and midi.

 

1996

NO TIME FOR PAMS. Ben is very busy with his own contemporary packages and turns over additional direct marketing of PAMS to Ken R. Inc.

As part of a comprehensive legal settlement involving conflicting claims to the PAMS copyrights, Ben agrees to sell the PAMS trademark back to PAMS Productions, Inc. Ben concentrates on almost 2000 Gwinsound Classic offerings. These famous jingles had been mostly held back by Ben due to his concentration on PAMS Classics. Ben retains his right to derive any PAMS melody logo and is licensed by Jam for continuing use of PAMS trademark and copyrights (new and old) found on his many demos and productions.

Ben produced a few sessions in LA (via Don Worsham) with Randy Van Horn and brought in the unbelievable talent that once made up a part of The Johnny Mann Singers. Ben is also a buddy of Johnny and Betty in LA. Ben works with Dan Alexander (famous singer for all the houses and PAMS sonovox man) on his voice over career.

 

1997

BEN MOVES BACK. Ben Freedman Productions had turned the mighty Dallas jingle world upside down in just 24 months with sales to over 100 stations including Rick Dees and Kiss FM Los Angeles. Ben introduces his new CD demo titled "Journey to the 21st Century" with 8 new jingle packages. Jingle sales take off!

The long hike to the top of the pyramid was done. Ben decided that it was now time to return to Buffalo with his wife Noreen and 9 year old son Ben Jr. Ben could then join his two older children from his first marriage and be with his elderly parents (June and Bud). Benís sister, Barb Peca, helps Ben hold down the parental fort.

Ben continues in jingles in Buffalo with packages for Danny Neaverth and Tommy Shannon of WHTT FM Oldies 104. Ben reunites with Ken R. in Toledo for the Danny jingles. Ben also works with Brian Beck in Dallas who heads Ben Freedman Productions of Texas. Ben and Brian complete a project with Cheerios in Minneapolis. (Funny, Cheerios are actually made in downtown Buffalo).

1999

BEN GOES CYBER. School is out? No way! Ben starts his new Jingle University project by the beach under the shade of a palm tree (OK thereís no palm trees in Buffalo) but you know what we mean. Now itís time for the creation and completion of Ben Freedmanís Jingle University. The torch is passed.

2004

Ben is now back in Dallas working full time for his old jingle collecting buddy and former TM Century boss - Dave Scott selling the fine digital automation products of Scott Studios - Dallas, Texas. Ben now continues his jingle efforts part time from his home studio in Richardson, Texas (suburban Dallas).

2006

Ben flourishes in the sales department at Scott Studios. Dave Scott has now fully retired from Scott Studios after the 2004 sale of the corporation to the amazing dMarc Broadcasting of Newport Beach, CA - headed by brilliant brothers Ryan and Chad Steelberg. In his part time, Ben continues in the station ID jingle business with the famous Dallas jingle singers Ė a dream come true for Ben Ė and his great concepts like Jingle University, The Instant Radio Station, The Best of Gwinsound and the new Promo Bank all live on!

2011

Ben continues in the station ID jingle business with the famous Dallas jingle singers Ė a dream come true for Ben Ė In addition to his own packages, Ben is now able to do resings of some of the most popular packages from PEPPER TANNER and GWINSOUND with a sound, unmatched for authenticity! In addition Ben compiles the three previous generic packages, The Instant Radio Station, PromoBank and PromoBank II into one massive DVD entitled The Ultimate Promo DVD

2012

Ben's health deteriorates during the course of the year, but he continues resings and generic sales throughout the year whenever possible, with plans for a new commercial spot section and extensions to The Ultimate Promo DVD.

2013

January 9, 2013, Plano, Texas. Still in the driving seat of his thriving jingle business, Ben passes away at the age of just 63. We modify his website, so as to retain a memorial to the man and his music, whilst Ben Freedman, Jr. will continue to make Ben senior's Ultimate Promo DVD available for broadcast/internet use, so that his work can continue to be enjoyed by radio stations and listeners, around the world.

 

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