Seeing My Name on TV is Still Really Cool

I grew up on the outskirts of Hollywood, both literally and figuratively. Save my one year living in San Francisco to study at the music conservatory, I’ve lived my entire life in Los Angeles or one of its many suburbs.

My father worked for while in the U.S. shipping and distribution offices of Azteca Films, a Mexican film studio, then later as the manager of the great movie palace, The Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. My mother was a travel agent with a pretty impressive list of 60s and 70s movie & TV stars and night club entertainers as her clients: Sonny & Cher, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Goulet & Carol Lawrence, dancer Juliet Prowse, comedian Marty Allen, and impressionist Frank Gorshin (he was also The Riddler in the Batman TV series) to name a few.

Sidebar: Frank Gorshin arranged for me to visit the set of Batman one day on the 20th Century Fox Studios lot. Try as I might, I cannot remember exactly what part of the studio I visited. Of course, I was only eight or nine years old, so it’s not much of a surprise that I can’t remember. It’s just kind of fun to think of now that I spend so much time at Fox.

When I got to junior high school, one of my friends was Chris Wooley. His dad is Peter Wooley who was an art director and I saw his name every week on the credits of “That Girl” starring Marlo Thomas. (Yes, I’ve been a credits reader since a very young age. I taught my daughters to appreciate all the hard work that goes into films and TV shows, so they read the credits, too. Their friends could never understand why they didn’t just get up and leave at the end of a movie.) When I got to high school, my friend’s sister, Georja Skinner, was the audio engineer on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” and I saw her name every week on the credits. I was pretty excited to know the family members of these “famous” people.

Later I became a fan of the nighttime soap “Dallas” which started in 1978 while I was in college. It was 1980 was when I decided to become a music editor and, being the credit-reader I always was, noticed that the music editor on Dallas was Patricia (Pat) Peck. By 1986, when I finally became a professional music editor, Pat Peck was still music editing “Dallas” and I remember thinking, “Wow! I sure hope I can be so lucky as to be on such a long-running show someday.” By the time “Dallas” went off the air in 1991, Pat Peck had been the show’s music editor for 13 years. I had been on “The Simpsons” for 2 years and never dreamed that I could match her record. Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog or hardcore fan of “The Simpsons” you know that I’m on the verge of doubling Pat’s tenure (!)

Now I get to see my own name on TV every week and, because of the many other projects I’ve been able to work on in my time in the biz (and, of course endless “Simpsons” reruns), my name pops up somewhere on the tube, somewhere in the world nearly every day. I had a surreal thrill when I traveled to Prague to score a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” back in 1999. I was in my hotel room and the TV was on a satellite system that got channels from all over Europe. While channel-surfing I saw THE SIMPSONS from Spain in Spanish, from France in French, from Germany in German and from Czech Republic in English with Czech subtitles. Seeing my name on the show from all those countries was a little mind-boggling.

I’m so fortunate to be able to “sign my name” on my work and have it saved for posterity. It’s humbling, it’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s my job, and I’m so happy I’m able to do it.

This is how my credit looks on THE SIMPSONS these days. It used to be much smaller with many more names on the card. This is a REALLY nice credit for a TV series music editor.

This is from “The Magic of Ordinary Days” one of twenty “Hallmark Hall Of Fame” presentations I’ve been privileged enough to music edit.

This is from “A Lesson Before Dying” which aired on HBO back in 1999. This show won the EMMY Award for Outstanding Made For TV Movie in 2000.

This is from “Pure Country”. The soundtrack album is the biggest selling soundtrack in the history of MCA Records. This was my first feature film credit on a “major motion picture studio” release (Warner Bros.)

This is from “Blast from the Past”, a movie that didn’t do very well in theaters but has found a loyal and enthusiastic following on cable TV.

If you’d like to see what else I’ve been up to in the past 26 years, you can check out my IMDB profile here.


16 thoughts on “Seeing My Name on TV is Still Really Cool

  1. It’s really funny you bring this up. I discovered your site the other day thanks to your fantastic link, and you mentioned what you did. Not three weeks prior, I had purchased the first three seasons of The Simpsons. I’ve had a blast re-visiting those early episodes. Sure enough, a day or two later, I found myself watching an episode (I think it was the one where Homer gets confused for Big Foot). When it was over, I thought “I should see if that guy is in the credits”. Sure enough, there you were. And I know exactly which smaller credit you reference in your article.

    Not to discredit any of your other work, but I have to tip my cap to you for helping to create something that’s been such a wonderful part of entertaining people for more than two decades. You have no idea how many hours and hours of entertainment I’ve gotten from The Simpsons.

    • Thank you for such a complimentary comment.

      Homer confused as Bigfoot is from 7G09 “The Call of The Simpsons” which is from season #1 and is still one of my favorite episodes. My credit was teeny-tiny back then.

      It’s so gratifying to hear how much joy the show has brought to its fans. It has brought me a lot of joy, too, and I don’t just mean a paycheck. It has truly been wonderful working with the cast and crew for all these years.

  2. I do this really annoying thing (even when I’m the only one around) where I say “I’ve met him, and him, and her, and I think him . . .” and I say, “I’ve hung out with him and his adorable wife!” or sometimes, “He’s bought me lunch–twice!” when your name comes up.

    I’ll try to come up with something new for the next time I see your name on screen, which is in about 45 minutes.

    Hope you had a great birthday weekend!

    • I remember those Jr. High & High School days and the vicarious thrill I’d get seeing the names of my friends’ relatives. It gave me some of my motivation to succeed in this crazy biz.

  3. Hi, Chris… I will be sure to send The Simpsons photo from Dresden… with English subtitles. Unfortunately, we were out of the room before the credits ran, so I was unable to capture that moment when your name appeard. Next time. I am sure you had a marvelous birthday celebration on Saturday! Cheryl Kelley

  4. Hi again. It’s me Francesca. Whenever I have friends over and we watch the Simpsons I tell them that I email to you. They don’t believe me even though I freeze the frame and show them your name (and my emails to you.) They don’t get it. That’s ok though. I am very excited about the rest of the season. Maybe when I am a cartoonist, you can do the music for my show too. It would be great!

    • Hi, Francesca. Tell your friends for me that we DO exchange notes from time to time here on the blog and that I think you’re going to be a fascinating artist as you go through life. Thanks for stopping by.

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