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Bob Dinan’s Jingle Pilgrimage

Posted 31st August 2014

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RADIO: # Rocking Dallas Fort-Worth, 98.7 K-LUV! #
BOB DINAN: And do you get a kind of thrill still, every time you hear one of these?
JON WOLFERT: Yeah… yeah… I like it.

Day 4, Bob Dinan’s Jingle Pilgrimage

Religious metaphors are rare on this site. For this subject, however, I make an exception. If broadcasting is the closest I’ll get to religion, and arguing about audience sitcom is the closest I’ll get to a holy war, then visiting the studios of JAM Creative Productions of Dallas1 would be the equivalent of a pilgrimage.

I’ll probably never get to do it. However there is a second best, and a very good second best at that. A UK jingle collector who goes by the name of Bob Dinan took that very trip over to Dallas in February this year… and spent a long time recording everything. Which means I get an instant religious experience from the comfort of my own sofa.

Yet there is far more to this than the video above. The real meat is in this post on Bob Dinan’s Jingle Podcast, which contains several hours of audio featuring Bob talking to Jonathan Wolfert, president of JAM Creative Productions.2 It is no exaggeration to say that Jon Wolfert – along with many other talented collaborators – have written and produced many of my favourite songs ever recorded… even if some of them are only five seconds long.

As Bob fully admits, the sound levels on these recordings aren’t the best – in fact, I find it easiest to download them, and then tweak the sound levels before listening. But it’s impossible to underestimate the value of these recordings. Whatever the subject matter, if you have someone who knows everything talking to someone who knows enough to ask the right questions, it can’t fail to be fascinating. And these are some of the most fascinating interviews I’ve ever heard.

Maybe you’ll want to dip into some of the shorter sections first – this 12 minute piece on the early days of JAM is a good place to start, and anyone interested in JAM’s work on Radio 1 and Radio 2 will love this particular half-hour. But for my money, the best discussion isn’t even about JAM’s work, at least not directly – but is this 90 minute discussion on 70s Dick Hamilton jingles. Never have I heard the art of jingle-making talked about not only with such depth… but also with such love.

Often, I use Dirty Feed as a way of Having My Say, in a manner most reminiscent of people who have to let everyone know their terribly important opinion on everything. (Much like a local newspaper’s letters page, but without even the benefit of an editor’s scissors.) Sometimes, however, I just want to share something I think deserves a wider audience. This deserves to be heard – and heard by a great number of people. If you’re even remotely interested in the subject: set aside a bit of time, sit back, and see what you think.

You may just find yourself gripped… and gutted when there’s no more left to hear.

  1. Creators of radio jingles since 1974 – from WABC, to Radio 1, to – most importantly – Dirty Feed

  2. The best description I have ever read of Jon is that he is “a Jingle Renaissance Man”. 

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