June 3rd, 2008

Keep Walking

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".