The Station of The Nation

During the first half of the 1960s, no one can argue that British musicians and bands were making quite an impact on the world of rock and roll. But there was no radio station in the U.K. devoted to playing this new music for a younger audience. British listeners growing up in this era had to hope for nighttime reception of a foreign station, or wait for the occasional TV show, to know what was happening on the pop charts. Meanwhile in the United States, top-40 radio was thriving. It was during this time that several entrepreneurs (usually with American backing and staff) decided to equip ships to make commercial broadcasts from international waters off the coast of England. These were the so-called Pirate Radio ships, which gave Britain and Europe their first taste of American style pop radio, complete with the latest PAMS jingles of the day.

After several years, the Marine Offenses Act was enacted which forced the pirate stations to shut down because it became illegal to advertise on them or otherwise support them. The UK's national broadcaster, the well-respected BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), sought to fill the need that was demonstrated by the success of the pirates. So on September 30, 1967 the BBC launched top-40 Radio 1 and easy-listening Radio 2. Due to the influence of the pirates, as well as prominent American stations such as WABC New York, both networks used jingles from PAMS in their early years.

Shortly after JAM began doing jingles for WABC in 1975, we made a presentation to the BBC. They too decided to switch to JAM, and 1976 was the beginning of a 21 year relationship which resulted in hundreds of jingles which became part of British pop radio culture. Close friendships developed over those years with Johnny Beerling, Derek Mills and many other talented people at the BBC, some of whom can be seen in our JAM photo albums. We remember the time we spent working on these projects in London and Dallas very fondly.

JAM continues to do occasional projects for Radio 2, including the "Weekend Wogan" theme in 2010, and jingles for Tony Blackburn's "Pick Of The Pops" program in 2012.

In recognition of the great work we've done with Radio 1 and Radio 2 through the years, we've selected some audio and video highlights from the archives and hope that our British friends (and all JAM fans) will find them of interest.


Radio 1 executive producer Johnny Beerling in his "long narrow office" at BBC's Egton House in April 1978. Note the JAM poster on the wall. Johnny went on to become Controller (manager) of Radio 1.

Radio 2 executive producer (the late) Derek Mills, seen with Jon Wolfert from JAM in a Radio 2 conference room in April 1978. Jon now apologizes for both the beard and the leisure suit.
WFAA-TV News  Dallas, TX
BBC session at JAM
May 3, 1978
When the BBC returned to Dallas for their second big JAM package in 1978, our local TV news leader decided it was an interesting story. They sent a reporter and camera crew to JAM and the resulting feature aired on News 8 that evening.   (2:14) Play Video
TBS Evening News
BBC session at JAM
August 19, 1980
In 1980 the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) started the Cable News Network (CNN). Some CNN reports, like this one, were also aired on WTBS-TV which was seen in Atlanta, and on many cable systems across the U.S. via satellite. At the end of this story about JAM doing more jingles for Radio 1, you'll see that one of the TBS anchors is David "Kid" Jensen, who had actually been a DJ at Radio 1.   (2:20) Play Video
Radio 1 Vocal Session
August 17-21, 1984
  Spend a few minutes in the JAM studio and control room watching some now-classic Radio 1 jingles actually being sung. Several combinations of singers were used over the course of the project. The ones you'll see are Cheryl Cleavenger, Kay Sharpe, Debi Lee, Abby Holmes, Bruce Upchurch, John Hooper, Mike Collier, Chris Kershaw and Dan Alexander.   (3:03)
Radio 2 Vocal Session
August 20, 1984
  Visit the JAM studio and control room to watch some classic Radio 2 jingles actually being sung. The singers are Abby Holmes, Judy Parma, Kay Sharpe, Chris Kershaw, Bruce Upchurch, Dan Alexander and Jim Clancy.   (2:11)
Visit Radio 1
October 1, 1992
  On October 1, 1992 the staff at 1FM was still celebrating the networks's 25th anniversary. We sat in on Mark Goodier's "Megahits" show and also spent time in the studio with Jakki Brambles. At this time, the network's facilities were in Egton House, which was across the street from the BBC's legendary Broadcasting House headquarters in London. You'll hear cuts from several custom JAM packages.   (2:56)
The JAM-BBC Story
November, 1994
This is an excerpt from our 20th anniversary commemorative CD "The First 20 Years" which was released in 1994. It's a brief audio history of how JAM and the BBC worked together, including recollections from Radio 1's Johnny Beerling.   (5:57) Play Audio
Radio 1 in-house demo
After JAM produced a new package for Radio 1, they would usually make a presentation strictly for BBC internal use. The production would introduce the new package to the many producers and DJs. This presentation demonstrated the use of the 1978-1980 package to the Radio 1 staff. It is narrated by Simon Bates, and was produced by Johnny Beerling. The main concern at that time was the upcoming dial position change from 247 meters to 275 and 285 meters. (At that time, many British AM radios were still marked with wavelengths in meters, rather than the more familiar frequencies in kiloHertz.)   (11:34) Play Audio
BBC Radio 1  UK
Tony Blackburn
December 9, 1976
In this aircheck you'll hear Radio 1 using their very first JAM package which consisted of custom work, as well as LogoSet, Priority One and The Best Country. Toward the end, DJ Tony Blackburn (who did Radio 1's very first show in 1967) makes some humorous comment concerning radio in the future... unfortunately, he didn't know that in the 21st century his prediction would come true at many stations!   (2:31) Play Audio
BBC Radio 1  UK
Final AM signoff
July 1, 1994
Radio 1 began broadcasting only in the AM band (also known as Medium Wave). By the 80s, Radio 1 could also be heard simulcasting full time in FM stereo. Ultimately most music listening did shift to FM, and the BBC decided to discontinue broadcasting Radio 1 on AM. After a major promotional campaign designed to get the remaining AM listeners to switch to "1 FM", the station left AM forever. To end the era, Radio 1 producer Simon Sadler assembled a montage of jingles beginning with The Ultimate One and travelling backwards in time through many of the other JAM and PAMS packages used over the years. The final jingle aired, from PAMS Series 31, was the first sound ever heard when Radio 1 began. Clearly this is a perfect aircheck for jingle lovers!   (6:38) Play Aircheck
ABC Radio and TV
News reports about Radio 1
October 2, 1967
The sign-on of Radio 1 caught the attention of the American media. Stories were aired nationally on the ABC Radio Network, and the ABC-TV National newscast. Since the actual event occured on a Saturday, these items were broadcast the following Monday. First you'll hear an ABC Radio feature report, as it was aired on WABC New York. Since the first jingle played on Radio 1 was a PAMS Series 31 cut that WABC was also using at the time, it prompted afternoon DJ Dan Ingram to comment about WABC's "influence on the world" (which was true). Following that you'll hear the audio portion from a report broadcast by ABC-TV that same evening. Close observers will notice that the soundtrack of Tony Blackburn's first words on Radio 1 are slightly different in the two reports. That's because one of them was re-staged for the reporters who couldn't squeeze into the room when it really happened!   (5:08) Play Aircheck
Listen to the Jingles The demo presentations for several of the custom packages JAM produced for Radio 1 and 2 are available on our demo download page.