On Saturday, Pointless Celebrities did their second radio special. And to celebrate the event, Richard Osman had lots of jingles at his disposal. As possibly one of the most Dirty-Feed-friendly programmes ever broadcast, we had to mark the event somehow.
Now, many shows might have just got some cheap, nasty, mock radio jingles done – maybe because they wanted cheap, or maybe because they wouldn’t have any idea companies exist whose entire purpose is to create radio jingles. But the beauty of Pointless – as with all great programmes – is how much care is taken in the production. So we get resings of tracks which originally came from US jingle companies JAM and PAMS – who both produced Radio 1 jingles for decades.1
The result of this? That, much like TV Offal, all the jingles heard on Pointless were originally sung for US radio stations. And if you don’t want to hear a comparison between the two different versions, then you’re clearly on the wrong site. What are you doing here? Go away.
Download “Pointless Celebrities Jingles – 18/10/14” (6MB MP3, 4:09)
For the record, the jingles in order are: Turbo Z #18, Turbo Z #4, Turbo Z #26 (my favourite), Turbo Z #1, Series 34 ‘Music Power’ #23, Series 27 ‘Jet Set’ #2, Turbo Z #6, Series 33 ‘Fun Vibrations’ #16, and Series 34 ‘Music Power’ #14. (With thanks to Robin Blamires for helping me identify that last one.)
All huge amounts of fun, and the delight with which Alexander Armstrong greeted them was a joy to behold. (Though well done Trevor Nelson for calling them “dated”, which is possibly the least interesting thing that could possibly be said about them.) It is, however, slightly ridiculous that Pointless not only has better jingles than an awful lot of radio stations, but also knows how to use them better…
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.
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“This package was very tongue-in-cheek, with lyrics that were often near-parodies of what country songs were about back then. The challenge was to be right on the borderline, so that the stations wouldn’t know (but we did!)”
– Jon Wolfert, President of JAM Creative Productions
Despite me spending far too much of my time listening to radio jingles, there is always something new to discover – the “new” often being several decades old. The above, “Country JAM” by JAM Creative Productions in 1975 (kindly uploaded by Tracey Carmen) is one of them – and it’s one of the most entertaining jingle demos I’ve ever heard.
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It’s 1969, and America’s ABC FM group needs some new jingles.
“I conferred with Harry Sosnik who was the director of music at ABC, and he said: ‘You know, what we could do is do our own jingle package in London. You know, we might get some cool British sounds and since that seems to be a big part of the rock scene…’ So we packed up, went over to London, went to Marble Arch studio and had a big huge orchestra there all ready that Harry had arranged for, and then we started auditioning lead singers to do the jingles. And this young fella comes in with tattered clothes, an audition disc and we put it on the turntable, played it, and boy, he sounded pretty good…”
— Allen Shaw, head of ABC FM group, 1969
The name of that singer? The answer may interest you, even if you’re not that into jingles. Take a listen to this. Or just look at the filename, of course, but that’s not half as much fun.
(All courtesy of a certain Mr. Jon Wolfert, who originally posted it on JingleMad. There’s some more background information over there, for those interested.)
Never let it be said that Dirty Feed isn’t topical. To, erm, celebrate JLS splitting up, here’s some audio from their appearance on The Chris Moyles Show back in 2011, where they sung the show’s jingles live – in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre.
Download “The Chris Moyles Show (18/02/11) – JLS Jingles” (9MB MP3, 4:44)
To be honest, it’s a case of “nice thought, pity it’s JLS”. (I prefer the BBC Concert Orchestra playing the jingles live the following year, 17:20 into this clip.) But it’s worth it purely to hear Moyles being extremely rude to JLS over their ability to sing. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
Pips from the end of the show are kept in at the end of the clip. Because playing the pips in front of an audience at the end of your show is bloody great.
Last Wednesday was Pirate FM‘s 21st anniversary – and to celebrate, they dug out a bunch of their old JAM jingles from their 1992 launch. I wish I’d managed to record the whole day, but sadly I only captured a part of Hometime with James Dundon – of which the below is just a small badly-edited snippet:
Download “Pirate FM 21st Anniversary – 3/4/13 5pm” (10MB MP3, 8:16)
Highlights include the amazing Pirate FM song at 1:45 (“The future’s looking great, at Great Britain’s Western Gate…”), and a hilariously sniffy contemporary BBC Spotlight report of the launch at 3:35. The whole day was a fantastic, heartfelt celebration – I only wish every radio station celebrated its anniversaries by having so much fun on the air.
The main thing I’d point out though, is how wonderful those jingles – now 21 years old – sound today. And more importantly, still work with a huge variety of different music – from Prefab Sprout in 1988, to a 2012 Pink hit. They made the station sound bloody fantastic. And, dare I say, deserve bringing back for more than one day…
I’ve been meaning to post these for a while, and Grimmy’s first week doing the Radio 1 breakfast show has given me the perfect excuse – as a little glimpse of what Radio 1 has lost. Here’s a few jingle-related things from The Chris Moyles Show, which I first put together in 2010. These are some of my favourite UK-made jingles ever, and my favourite imaging from a UK radio station in the past 10 years.
“Chris, Dave, Dom, Tina, Aled, Matt Fincham, and this week’s allocated Unit Assistant…” An entire three-and-a-half-hour show, boiled down to just the jingles and other imaging – opening with the fantastic cheesy song, and ending with the closing “National Radio One!” Highlights here have to be the beautiful strings-only version of one of the beds, and the jingle for Aled’s Summer Surgery: “Chlamydia and itchy bits, they are not much fun: so why not tell the whole wide world, here on Radio 1?”
The Chris Moyles Show (22/07/10) – Imaging (45MB MP3, 23:26)
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Last year, I started a series of posts about jingle samplers, from the fantastic collection of Ken R. After a short break, I meant to get back to it – but in the meantime an excellent site has sprung up from Ted Tatman, archiving all the samplers I have, and rather more besides. Rather than duplicate the effort, especially as that site has a bit more context, I thought I’d finish my series by just giving the site a great big link:
As there really is much great stuff over there, I thought the following would be a a fitting end to this series of posts:
And that great song leaves me with a question – just what was it about 70s pop culture which made them constantly mention the year? I keep seeing it with material from that decade. Even the Carry On films were doing it with this poster for Carry On Behind – “…with the ’76 touch”. Why?
Because there clearly aren’t enough of them in the world, here’s the first in a new venture on Dirty Feed – a podcast. This episode, I use Victor Lewis-Smith’s 90s series TV Offal as an excuse to play a one minute long jingle from a radio station in Denver:
Download Podcast #1: TV Offal (22MB MP3, 12:00)
(Subscribe using RSS / iTunes)
These will be published WHENEVER I CAN BE BOTHERED, and are deliberately starting off pretty short. Feedback more than welcome – I’ve been involved in G&T’s Dwarfcasts for over five years now, but this is the first time I’ve done one myself.
Give it a listen! Or: don’t.
With thanks to David Barras, Bigdave, Robin Blamires, jlehmann, jonno, Sean Martin, and mjb1124 on JingleMad for help and audio.
Another day, another entry in our Ken R jingle sampler series – and this time, we’re back to original PAMS jingles, all recorded between 1960 and 1977:
The Livin’ End (98MB ZIP, password: kenr)
As usual, this compilation has loads of great stuff – including some nice country jingles which often seem to get looked over when talking about the history of PAMS, and some extremely amusing session excerpts which pile on the nonsense noises with each take. But my favourite of the batch here is simply known as the WTVY (FM) Happy Day Song.
The perfect way to start your day.
Jingle compilation by Ken R. Deutsch. PAMS material © PAMS Productions, Inc. of Dallas.