From the JAM vault

This page is for JAM fans. The ones who have heard all of the demos, and have enjoyed jingles for years. Since we began, JAM has kept a copy of every one of the well over 21,000 jingle projects we've done. Our vault contains shelf after shelf of tapes, DATs and CDs, spanning the last 35+ years of broadcasting and advertising history.

Among the thousands of hours of audio that this collection represents, there are many interesting items that are not on any of our demos or CDs. They might be unusual versions of syndicated cuts, cool custom projects, or just moments of JAM history that we enjoy hearing now and then. As we run across these goodies we will share them, and the stories behind them, here. This collection is for fun. We hope you enjoy it.

In 1979 we were asked to do a custom jingle package for WYNY New York. The station wanted to appeal to young adults with a blend of information and contemporary music. They knew that their jingles should reflect the fast pace and exciting feel of life in New York. Before we started, we created two audition cuts. After hearing them, the station decided to back away from the disco beat a little and go with a more mainstream contemporary sound. The result was the "New York 97" package. But here are the auditions. The first track has only been used for one other client (BBC Radio 1 in the UK). The second track became part of our WLS package "Dance To The Music". But you can hear how the lyric content sparked the idea for the 3-minute long "New York 97 Song" that we later produced.  (1:13) Play
The "I'd Rather Be In Denver" package, originally created for Loren Owens at KIMN, was used in over 60 markets large and small. The lyrics would be customized for each station, to help tap into each city's local pride. In May 1979 we produced the package for Jim Taber at KKOL El Paso, Texas. (They dropped the first K and called the station KOL or Kool.) We always enjoy creative lyrics, and these are certainly unusual. Add to that an uncommon logo melody and a slightly different mix of singers, and you have a collector's item. Here are excerpts from the package and parts of the promo songs. All you have to know about El Paso to appreciate this is that it can get very hot, and very windy!  (3:16) Play
Between the years 1978 and 1987, JAM created hundreds of radio commercials for the United States Air Force. These public service announcements and paid spots were heard across the nation, and included recruiting information as well as general image support messages. Working directly with the Air Force, JAM wrote the copy, cast the voice-over talent, and did all the recording and production. Not every spot required music, but when it did we would create a custom jingle. One of the earliest was this one recorded in March 1979, when we wrote the line "Get Your Future Off The Ground" to supplement the Air Force's then-current slogan "A Great Way of Life". (This was recorded in the same session as the WNDE "Windy Songs".)   (1:02)

1979 IBA award winner in the "Radio Public Service" category.
1980 Clio Awards finalist in the "Recruitment" category.
Words and music by J. Wolfert.
In 1979, forty years after it was first written, the song "Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder" was adopted as the official song of the U.S. Air Force. (You can read the interesting history of this song here.) As a result, JAM was asked to produce arrangments of this song in every possible musical style. For those not familiar with the song, start by listening to this traditional orchestral treatment produced by JAM in October 1981. It uses the original lyrics (except for the next-to-last line which was intentionally omitted). You may begin to appreciate the creative challenge involved in making more contemporary versions, examples of which appear below.   (:33) Play
Most of the Air Force spots we created did not need a bombastic musical arrangement. For example, spots about careers in nursing, or messages expressing thanks to veterans and those in the service, often needed a gentler touch. This unlikely bossa nova version of "Wild Blue Yonder" is one of our favorites. It was produced by JAM in October 1980.   (1:02)

1981 Clio Awards finalist in the "New Arrangements of Commercial Themes" category.
Arr. by C. Kershaw.
Air Force recruiting spots were targeted to high school and college students, their parents, and even grandparents. As a result, JAM created nearly 100 arrangements of "Wild Blue Yonder" in every style you can imagine. On a few occasions we even wrote new lyrics for the song, incorporating the Air Force's slogan "Aim High". Of course, most of these jingles were used with voice-over copy. But to demonstrate a little of what we had accomplished musically, we assembled this brief montage in 1988. It's a reminder that a strong signature logo melody can be adapted to whatever style is required, whether you're working with a commercial or a station ID.   (4:32) Play

For many years the major TV networks in the U.S. would each create a "fall campaign" to build their promotion efforts around. The campaigns included custom graphics and a song, which could be either an established hit or an original composition. A full length version of the song would be produced with special lyrics, and become the sound track for a lengthy video designed to introduce the new fall programming line-up at the annual affiliates convention. In 1979, ABC-TV secured the rights to use the song "Still the One", which was an appropriate campaign theme because they were the #1 rated network again that year. Influenced by the most popular music of the day, they went for a disco arrangement. Here is the end of the 1979 affiliates video, which includes a rundown of all the network's stars announced by Ernie Anderson, the iconic voice of ABC primetime from that era. JAM sang several versions of this track, as well as customized shorter versions for all the ABC affiliates.   (2:46)
Although some are familiar with the full-length "Still the One" track as sung for the network, it is not generally known that JAM re-sang the song several times with other specialized lyrics. For example, local stations owned by ABC, such as WLS-TV Chicago, received their own personalized versions. And even a few non-broadcast divisions of ABC wanted to tie-in with the campaign. ABC Publishing provided some clever lyrics for their internal version which included possibly the worst pun ever, "still the Schwann", a reference to the Schwann music catalog.
Play Play Play
Network version
30th anniversary
stereo remix!
WLS-TV Chicago version
ABC Publishing version
Although the full-length version might air on the network one time, it was the package of :30, :20 and :10 versions that were used throughout the season. JAM customized the package for each affiliate. Here is a short montage to demonstrate how some stations adapted the lyrics to make the campaign their own. In order, these cuts are from WAKR, KBAK, KTEN, KLTV, WTAE, WGHP and WJZ.  (2:25) Play
The ABC network graphics and other promo elements were designed and created by Harry Marks, and his wonderful company Marks & Marks in Los Angeles. Since they were responsible for delivering customized graphics and music for each affiliate, we developed a great working relationship to coordinate production of the audio and video elements. When the entire project was over we recorded a special "closed-circuit thank you" jingle just for them. The following year Marks worked with us again to customize the "You and Me" campaign for ABC.  (1:04) Play
Over the years there have been several JAM jingle packages that were sung using the great vocal group in Los Angeles. But there was only one time we asked them to sing an entire package in Spanish. It was for David Gleason at WQII in Puerto Rico. The station was known as "Once-Q" (11-Q), and they used cuts from "The Authority", which was originally created for KOA Denver. Here are a few excerpts from the package, which was recorded in December 1979.   (2:16) Play
Here's a collection of four :30 image songs promoting "that good time feeling" on Z-93 (KQIZ) in the panhandle region of Texas. The first cut was originally made for 95PEN Philadelphia, the last cut is from the WAKY "Tri-Star" package, and the other two are customs done for Z-93. These were produced in Feburary 1980.  (2:04) Play
Iowa City is the home of The University of Iowa. To tie in with Hawkeyes football, KRNA asked us to create a pop version of the school's traditional fight song. The song was written in 1951 by Iowa native Meredith Wilson, whose many credits include "The Music Man". This arrangement, which incorporates the 4-note KRNA logo at the beginning and end, was produced by JAM in July 1980. The station distributed thousands of copies on 45 rpm records as part of the promotion.  (1:37) Play
It's always a bit unusual when we're asked to sing jingles in a language other than English. Through good ears and phonetic coaching we've managed to successfully record in many different languages over the years. But when CFLS in Levis, Quebec asked us to produce cuts from "I'd Rather Be 2", "Meltdown" and "The Rock" with authentic French vocals, we decided to go to the source. We flew to Montreal, rented a studio, and booked French-Canadian session singers. Although they all had experience singing on records and commercials, it took a long time to achieve the vocal precision required by these station IDs (no one ever said this job is easy). The end product was fine, but it took over 12 hours to record what would have been a 3 hour session in Dallas. We were singing these jingles way past midnight, but Dan Plouffe (our Canadian rep at the time) made sure we all had a good time. Here are some of the results, recorded in Montreal in February 1981.   (2:20) Play
Over the years JAM has created several full custom image packages for WMAL, including "Focal Point", "The #1 Voice" and "Capitol Idea". But here's a random collection of unusual WMAL items from the 80s which you may have missed.  (1:48) Play

In February 1982 JAM created the theme music for "Report to Murphy", a sitcom about the adventures of a parole officer played by Michael Keaton. The show aired on CBS-TV in April and May of 1982, but only 6 episodes were made. Our on-screen credit flashes by quickly at 1:21.   (1:35)
For much of the 1960s and '70s, WABC New York was the #1 music station in North America. But changing times and technology caused the station to drop its Musicradio format in May 1982 and switch to news-talk. Almost one year earlier, ABC had decided to create a 24 hour satellite-delivered format that would essentially make the classic WABC sound available to affiliates across the US. It was a project of the newly-created ABC Radio Enterprises division, which named former WABC program director Rick Sklar as the VP of Programming. Rick signed up some of the top DJs from WABC (who would become availabe because of the upcoming format change), and many other major market personalities. The service was called Superadio, and it was scheduled to begin in July 1982.

Because JAM had worked closely with Rick for many years doing WABC jingles, he came to us to develop a huge custom package that would be used on Superadio. He wanted to capture exciting elements from past WABC jingles, and bring them into the '80s. In addition to traditional jingles designed to air on the network or in local windows, the package explored the never-before-tried idea of the "network two-punch." The opening part of a jingle would play on the net, and an electronic cue would trigger a customized ending tag to play at the local station. This required that all tags be in the same key, and that they be a standard length. In order to demonstrate the concept, we initially sang the tags using fictitious call letters like WSPR (for "Superadio") or WJCP (for "JAM Creative Productions").

Sadly, Superadio never got on the air. The concept was ahead of its time, since satellite-delivered formats had not yet become commonplace, as they are today. In addition, the sales and marketing efforts were not handled well due to internal problems within ABC. Despite building brand new studios in New York and having everything ready to go, ABC decided to abandon the project just a few short weeks before it was scheduled to launch because not enough affiliates had been signed up.

We eventually re-sang many, but not all, of the jingles for WGBB on Long Island and turned them into a syndicated package called "Good Time Radio". But here is a montage featuring some of the original Superadio versions, for the network of the future that almost was.   (4:08)

This is a collection of image promos which aired from 1982 to 1986 on WJZ-TV Channel 13 in Baltimore. The custom music is from the "It's A Good Feeling To Know" package. This highly successful campaign created a warm image for the station, which carried over into promos for the station's newscasts and other programming. Local news anchors Jerry Turner, Al Sanders, and even a young Oprah Winfrey are seen in some of the spots.   (11:46)
Welcome aboard, ladies and gentlemen. We will be cruising at 31,000 feet this evening. For your in-flight entertainment, please put on the headphones and listen to "Along The Coast" from JAM. This is from August 1990.  (:43) Play

In November 1990 JAM created a series of custom jingles for the VH-1 cable network. The idea was to create a new and very different look for their station IDs. Yes, the dancers did actually lip-sync to the jingles! The video elements were produced by Fred/Alan Inc., working with two different video houses in the New York area.   (1:42)
The American Forces Network is designed to bring news, information and familiar entertainment to military personnel and their families who may be serving far from home. During Operation Desert Shield, in what has come to be known as the "first" Gulf war, a network of stations was quickly set up for the troops deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. Of all the work we've done for AFN through the years, perhaps the most surreal was this version of "Turbo Z" which was recorded in January 1991. The package was originally created for Z-100 New York, but who would have predicted it would end up here?   (1:05) Play

In 1991, as troops were returning home from Desert Storm, JAM created this :60 jingle as a gift for the American Forces Network (AFN). It was not a political statement, just an expression of gratitude to military families through the years for their service. Here are two of the "welcome home" promos which AFN produced to accompany our music. The same song, with customized lyrics, was also used by several TV stations in the U.S.for similar support promos.   (2:20)
Kool 105 Denver signed on with JAM jingles in 1987, and used custom JAM packages for 20 years. In 2007 we produced a :60 custom jingle to celebrate Kool's 20th anniversary as an oldies ("classic hits" in today's jargon) station. The cut is about the "Kool Koncert", which is an annual all-day event. Each year's concert would feature 4-6 different musical groups from the 50s, 60s and 70s. In 2007, it was a 2-day event with 8 different bands including The Turtles, The Four Tops and Steppenwolf.

The idea behind the jingle, created in May 2007 for Keith Abrams at Kool, was to mention all of the artists who have played at the event in the last 20 years... and do it in 60 seconds. This was played at the top of every hour for days leading up to the concert. (It was the cue to call in and win tickets). Take a deep breath and sing along.  (1:02)

Last updated 6/11/14