In 1967 I decided I wanted to produce a series of motivational tapes. I convinced the late Ruth Kent of WSB-TV plus a well-known minister to have a conversation about the meaning of life, success, motivating yourself and the need for a spiritual foundation. There was no script, and I wanted the talk to run no longer than 20 minutes.
Right. Should be a piece of cake.
The cake fell, but in the process I met Tom Wells. He owned a new, little recording studio named Doppler. (Wells: “The Doppler Effect, get it?”)
Tom and I became close friends; Doppler grew and moved to Peachtree Street. Tom, and his partner, Pete Caldwell, built Doppler into one of the best known, and most successful, recording studios in the country.
Tom was a musician, a composer of jingles, film scores, and sit-com themes. (“WKRP In Cincinnati” and many others. Check www.wunderwells.com and www.imdb.com )
Tom died Monday. Damn it.
Tom will be remembered for many things.
He married Janet Meshad, a beautiful, talented, endlessly funny, high-spirited actress, gourmet cook, gardener, saint.
He was an extraordinarily talented musician.
He was an eternal teenager.
Nothing was inherently uninteresting. Need some music for a hog killing? Call Tom Wells.
He had a successful rock band after he and Pete sold Doppler.
Janet told me once that one of the many reasons she loved Tom was that he could fix things.
He was a good father and husband.
He bored easily.
He had a grand piano and a drum set in his living room.
He enjoyed conversation. About anything.
He liked all kinds of music. If a polka band were appearing locally, he’d try to see them.
He could cook.
The day before he died he told Janet he wasn’t sick.
If you didn’t know him, you were short-changed.
I loved him.
I hope they have guitars in heaven.
Mark Johnson is a professional mentalist and mind reader who presents his unique and unforgettable program to conventions, college and universities, sales meetings, private parties, business and civic clubs and more. He has also appeared at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta and produces, along with Jerry Farber and Joe M. Turner, Atlanta Magic Night at the Red Light Cafe in Midtown. He is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Georgia Magic Club,Buckhead Rotary Club and Friends of Jim The Wonder Dog. You can learn more at www.MarkJohnsonSpeaks.com. He is the author of three books: "Living The Dream," the story of the first ten years of FedEx; "Superman, Hairspray, and the Greatest Goat On Earth," a collection of mostly true stories;, and "Yes Ma'am, You're Right: The Essential Rules For Living With A Woman." Mark's day job is as a freelance writer and communications and marketing consultant. Mark has traveled around the world twice but has never been to Burlington, Vermont. He does not eat beets or chicken livers, and he has never read "Gone With The Wind." He is the only person he knows who was once a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists. He is a fifth generation Atlantan, the father of three, and the grandfather of five. All offspring are demonstrably perfect. He lives in Smyrna with his wife Rebecca (aka The Goddess) and two dogs: Ferguson, an arrogant Scottish terrier; and, Lola, a Siberian husky who is still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing in Cobb County.