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Classic Radio Jingles!

When I used to work in commercial radio in the 80s, we got a promotional album from JAM. JAM is a company the average radio listener doesn't know about -- they're the folks that produce commercial station radio jingles (you know the kind: "Zzzz One Hundred!"). From station identification jingles, segways, transitioniary tunes (going from a fast song to a slow song or vice-versa) even to some stations' news music beds!

Basicially they produce vocal harmony, drums and call letters sung to the tune of many stations call letters. JAM was the 'Cadillac' of radio station jingle companies.

I was delighted to re-locate the single track from a promotional album they mailed out to radio stations as a promotional item in 1985! Read about it in their own words here, then listen to it below. (If you want to read the lyrics click here.)

See how many radio stations you can remember as you listen!
The Sound of JAM is everywhere you go...

1985 was a very busy year for JAM. There were several CHR and A-C formatted stations competing in almost every city, and JAM did the jingles for most of them. Countdown shows abounded, and you could hear JAM on one after another. To take a "snapshot in time" of that moment, we wrote and recorded The JAM Song.

In order to create as accurate a time capsule as possible, each station's logo melody was correct (as of the day we recorded it) and each station's call letters were sung by the same combination of singers who sang their most recent JAM package. This required lots of research and many different recording sessions which spanned about three weeks.

We originally pressed The JAM Song onto a 7" record at 33 1/3 rpm, and mailed it out as a promotional item in September 1985. The back of the record jacket contained the song lyrics and credits, and identified the location of each station mentioned. In 1994 we digitally re-mastered The JAM Song from the original 30 ips master tape and released it on our 20th anniversary commemorative CD, "The First 20 Years". That release is now available here as an mp3 download.

The JAM Song takes a whimsical look at what we do, and predicts a time when you'll hear JAM jingles coming from other galaxies. There's even a brief aircheck of a station which identifies itself as "Zorp Furble, Andromeda". It shows that despite language differences, radio and jingles are truly universal.

Many formats and call letters have changed since 1985, but it's still fun to look back. We hope you enjoy "The JAM Song".



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
I am glad my friend's post sent me here. :-) I work in radio and love love love jingles (although, I HATE our current FM station's jingles, they have no life).
Jun. 4th, 2008 04:36 am (UTC)

I am glad my friend's post sent me here. :-) I work in radio and love love love jingles (although, I HATE our current FM station's jingles, they have no life).

I'm so happy I'm not alone in this enfatuation!

The Jam Song is just fantastic! I remember cranking it in production room!

... more drums and call letters! ... ;-)

Jun. 4th, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
iF you'd like to take a listen, our stations are streamed at our new web portal: http://www.mynorthwest.com - KIRO's stuff has a lot of oomph but nto so much B97.3's.
Jun. 4th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)

I'm listening right now!

Thanks! I love listening to non-local radio and absorbing the non-local culture.

When "cable radio" first came out (in Canada), they used to relay stations from acros the nation. I loved it. When they rolled out "cable radio" in the United States, it was all random digital music -- how boring. Might as well put some CDs in the player and press 'shuffle'

Some radio station owners/managers feel that a 'programme director' is un unnecessiary expense, I beg to differ.

Modern commercial radio really sucks, it's not like the old days at all. The chief engineer of WEZO-FM/WNYR-AM (now WRMM-FM/WEZO-AM) is not 'shared' amoung MANY class-A stations in the market. He does the job of four people and gets paid as for the job of one. There are a few stations that are cool still, such as Channel 93.3 Denver (KTCL) -- but for the most part, while I am driving, I listen to NPR now. They have entertainment (Like Wait, Wait! and Car Talk), not just random music.

When I would visit foreign cities, I'd record airchecks from their local stations while I was out and about and would listen to them when I returned home. It would let me learn even more about the local culture at my own pace and remind me of my trip after the fact. I still remember heading "Mike & The Mechanics, All I Need Is A Miracle" for the first time (I loved it) on 990 CFTR (Toronto) as I was driving into the city -- but what really made me remember the station was the entertaining DeeJay and the CFTR Jingle.

Jun. 17th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
Sorry? for the long response
Yeah, I remember when my local cable system in Idaho had "cable radio." Unfortunately, no one knew how to use it. At the time it was that boring random digital music but no one seemed to know how to receive it. We, of course, also got BYU radio (Bleh!). In that area, they cancelled the FM service and moved to 'digital music' offerings with digital cable, claiming they needed the bandwidth.

Anyway, I am happy to report that Comcast does add a few interesting channels to the (Now digital) service here in Seattle. We get one Canadian FM (I wish they would add CBC from Vancouver) - a classic rocker from Vancouver, as well as local college stations, which we would not hear otherwise. We also have a few "Olympia-Tacoma" area FMs that are hard to receive on home tuners. Otherwise, it's the same old digital and local.

In other markets I've not seen the local available, perhaps it is due to the unique terrible terrain here.

I wish I could've been in radio pre-1997. It seems everything has been down down hill since then. I am trapped in the sales department, although I love programming. There's just no jobs in it. :-( (and I work for one of the better companies)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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