• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Tomka Productions


Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Hi all,

I have a few comments and a few questions. As an archivist-in-training pursuing a Master's degree in Library and Information Science, I'm particularly interested in the archives, which we say are supposed to permanently preserve the content, context, and structure of records.

A lot of us have seen the content, whether they be official DVD releases or lo-fi tapes, but unfortunately, I've found many of these reproductions to lack important context. I know that all of you here, through devouring books from Ray Coleman, Randy Schmidt, and the wonderful Chris May, are re-constructing histories with context that situate the audiovisual "records" (tapes, TV performances, live performances, etc.) within time and place.

My question today relates to Tomka Productions. I remembered seeing Tomka Productions in the credits for "Make Your Own Kind of Music." Little exists online to provide context. However, I did find some public records on the State of California Secretary of State's website that clearly state that Don Knotts (on the PDF scan, "Jesse Donald Knotts") was the director of Tomka Productions at the time of its dissolution in 2005 [PDF]. (Similarly, you can see Downey-Bronx's paperwork here. These records are part of the public record, and I found them doing a Business Search.)

So... I have a question for you all. We know that the Carpenters performed "(They Long to Be) Close to You" on the Don Knotts Show in September 1970. Tomka Productions produced the Don Knotts Show. We also know that "Make Your Own Kind of Music" came out as a summer replacement series to replace the Don Knotts Show when it was canceled.

Do we know, what was the business relationship between the Carpenters and Don Knotts? Whose idea was it to give the Carpenters a starring role on a summer TV series? In my daydreaming mind, I picture Don Knotts being so thoroughly impressed with the Carpenters while working with them, that when someone pitched a music-and-comedy summer replacement series, Don Knotts would have said he would be more than happy to let them use his production company.

The second part to my inquiry is this. We know from the credits on the various official Carpenters DVDs that the archival footage of the five television specials are in the custody of Downey-Bronx Productions (Richard Carpenter is the CEO, Werner Wolfen is the Secretary, and Jerry Weintraub is the CFO). Who is technically the records custodian for the Don Knotts Show and MYOKOM master 2" tapes? (I know that Richard is adamant that MYOKOM will never be released in its entirety on DVD, and I understand and accept that.) But, from an archival standpoint, are the tapes being preserved by an organization? Or are they sitting in a musty garage bin somewhere gathering mold and dust? I really hope that these tapes will be preserved for as long as physically possible. I would be absolutely devastated to see all of that wonderful cultural gold be permanently destroyed...

Looking forward to hearing your feedback and comments...

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