air-check (Ôr'-chek) n. A recording of a radio station broadcast,
usually made by connecting a recording device to a radio receiver. Airchecks are often
telescoped, meaning that the body of all musical selections and commercials
have been cut out so that only the "essence" of the station itself remains
(ie. the announcers, jingles, promotions, song intros and outros, newscasts, etc.)
Radio is a constantly evolving medium, and it's interesting to recall the sounds of
yesteryear. We're proud to say that JAM jingles are, and have been, an integral part of
memorable stations and programs all over the world. It's a history that is best
remembered in audio form. This page is not intended to be an extensive aircheck site (there
are several of those already on the internet, including
Reelradio.) The items presented here are from
our personal collection of significant moments in the story of radio and JAM.
We'll add more as time goes by. Enjoy!
WABC New York, NY
Dan Ingram December 12, 1975
One of the earliest airchecks of WABC using JAM jingles. You'll hear Priority 1 and several acappellas (which were later added to the LogoSet demo). At this time, the station dropped the "W" in several of the jingles, and tried calling itself "77 ABC". That phase lasted only a short while, and many of these jingles were later re-sung to put the "W" back in!
WPGC Washington, DC
Jim Collins April, 1976
This stereo aircheck features two of our earliest CHR packages in use: Priority 1 and LogoSet.
WPEN Philadelphia, PA
Geoff Fox October 21, 1976
When 95PEN began their oldies format in March 1975, they became the first station in a top-5 market to use a JAM custom package. It was called Back Seat Music, and you can hear several cuts in use here.
BBC Radio 1 UK
Tony Blackburn December 9, 1976
The BBC's national pop and rock network used JAM jingles for 18 years beginning with their 1976 package. In this aircheck you'll hear part of the 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!
WSM Nashville, TN
Ted Johnson June 1, 1977
Although WSM is widely known as a country music station, there was a time when they aired a successful adult-contemporary format during the day. Here's Ted Johnson in the morning, using jingles from Dimension Two and The WSM Package from JAM.
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. Click the PLAY button to hear audio only (followed by the complete version of the Radio 2 jingle we were working on during the report), or CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO in Windows Media format.
WLS Chicago, IL
John Records Landecker February, 1979
WLS had an amazing signal and influence, especially at night. As a case in point, consider that this aircheck was recorded in Dallas... which is over 900 miles from Chicago! You'll hear cuts from Class Action and Dance to the Music in use.
WPRO-FM Providence, RI
Tyler December 8, 1980
92 PRO-FM came to JAM in 1976 and has aired an assortment of our jingles ever since. In this aircheck you'll hear Back Seat Music, Priority One, Class Action, Positron, and Meltdown. The typically upbeat mood is shattered at the end of the aircheck by the tragic report about John Lennon.
WYNY New York, NY
Dan Daniel & Randy Davis March 23 & 20, 1981
When the station's research indicated that people were listening but having trouble remembering the call letters, JAM suggested doing a custom package which mentioned the station name twice in every cut. The result was Double Plus, being heavily used here. The station went on to become very successful. There are several great topical stories in this aircheck too.
WABC New York, NY
Dan Ingram June 4, 1981
Dan Ingram debuts, and comments on, his new opening theme jingle from the You'll Like Our Style package.
WMAL Washington, DC
Tom Gauger September, 1981
When our friend Herb Springer was working at WMAL, he secretly arranged for us to record an acappella for afternoon host Tom Gauger. Then, when Herb was engineering Tom's show, he surprised him with it on the air. You'll also hear a jingle from Focal Point.
JAM Across America
Airchecks on the road September 17 - October 12, 1981
Are you ready for a long road trip? Come with us on a drive from Texas to Maine and back. We'll take a northern route up, a southern route back, and cover almost
4000 miles along the way. Of course we'll make airchecks from the car radio as we go. Here is just a sampling of the many JAM jingles you would have heard
along the way on this actual autumn 1981 journey, complete with the occasional static and fading that you'd expect. To keep this montage to a reasonable length we tried to limit ourselves to featuring just one jingle per station. From a historical
standpoint, you can hear that at this time FM stations were definitely a significant factor but many AM music stations had not yet surrendered and were still going strong. Almost
all stations had live personalities on the air, even overnight. And notice that the fidelity of many AM stations seemed much better back then. Not only were
the stations using processing chains and transmitters designed for better frequency response, but most radio receivers were designed with decent audio quality in
mind for both the AM and FM sections.
WABC New York, NY
Dan Ingram & Ron Lundy May 10, 1982
Musicradio WABC was America's most listened-to radio station for years, so when they changed to an all-talk format it was an emotional time for many who grew up with (and on) the station. The transition, heard here, features the final minutes of Musicradio 77 which included a mention of JAM and the trademark PAMS jingle and chime. That's followed by some intentional dead air, then the first few minutes of the new Talkradio 77 which began with an award-winning :60 jingle from the custom Talk To Us package.
KIIS-FM Los Angeles, CA
Tim Kelly April 26, 1984
The signature sound of KIIS-FM was created by JAM. You'll hear cuts from their custom Hot KIIS! package, as well as the earlier Outstanding series.
KKHR Los Angeles, CA
Jack Armstrong April 27, 1984
Big Jack rockin' LA with cuts from The Flame Thrower and Hitradio packages.
WHTZ New York, NY
Scott Shannon, Ross Brittain, J.J. McKay, The Shadow May 3 & 4, 1984
"Z-100" rejuvenated the sound of top-40 radio in New York beginning in August 1983, and jingles were a big part of the formula. This early aircheck features The Flame Thrower, the first of many legendary Z-100 packages. Also of interest is the discussion of "FM converters" for your AM-only radio.
WPLJ New York, NY
Pat St. John July 23, 1984
The "Zit 100" promo at the beginning of this short aircheck documents part of the fierce battle that was fought between WPLJ and Z-100 for dominance in the format. Also at this time, both stations wanted to be perceived as having the closest connection to the upcoming Michael Jackson concert. So, taking a cue from "W-A-Beatle-C" in the '60s, the station became "W-P-L-Jacksons" for a while. You'll hear this reflected in their Hitradio 2 cuts.
WNBC New York, NY
Wolfman Jack November 29, 1984
The Wolfman howling overnight, and singing along with Nothing But Class and The Only One jingles. You'll also hear a top-of-the-hour cut which doesn't appear in either package.
KEGL Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Kidd Kraddick July 12, 1985
Before Kidd became an established morning man, he did the night shift on The Eagle. You'll hear Hitradio and Warp Factor in use.
BBC Radio 4 UK
"Midweek" February 26, 1986
Radio 4 is the BBC's national talk and current affairs channel. Every Wednesday they present "Midweek", an hour-long conversation program hosted by Libby Purves. JAM founder Jonathan Wolfert was invited to be one of the in-studio guests. Portions of The JAM Song were used to open and close the show, which was quite an unusual thing to hear on the normally quiet and reserved Radio 4.
NBC-TV Late Night
David Letterman November 5 & 6, 1986
Late Night talk show host David Letterman began his career in radio, so it wasn't too surprising that he thought it would be fun to use some radio jingles on his network TV show. JAM selected cuts from Good Time Radio, Nothing But Class, and added some acappellas and custom material to create this package.
WHN (to WFAN) New York, NY
Dan Taylor July 1, 1987
When stations change their format it's often emotional, and retiring legendary call letters makes it even more so for radio buffs. On this day New York's only AM country music station became America's first all-sports station. Again, JAM was on both sides of the transition: The last sound ever heard on WHN was a cut from their custom Metro Country package, and the first sound broadcast on WFAN was from their custom Sportsradio package.
New York City
September 20, 1988
A quick scan of the New York radio dial reveals JAM on at least 5 stations. You'll hear WHTZ (Z-100) using cuts from The Flame Thrower, Red Hot and
Warp Factor on the Morning Zoo with Scott and Ross. WWPR (Power 95) is using Maximum Power. The station is better known as WPLJ, but for a short while they changed call letters to
better reflect their "Power" slogan. WYNY was New York's only country music station, and is using It's Your Country. On the AM side
we hear WMCA using We Talk New York (with a little automation problem joining the network news) and WFAN using their original Sportsradio package when the station was still at 1050 on the dial.
KQMQ Honolulu, HI
Michael Qseng January 5, 1989
The sound of JAM is everywhere you go, and Hawaii is no exception. You'll hear jingles from Warp Factor and Red Hot in this brief excerpt from the station's "Morning Madness" show, which was one of the first "morning zoo" style programs in that part of the country.
KOST Los Angeles, CA
Mark & Kim, Ted Ziegenbusch
JAM has created custom jingles for "Coast" in Los Angeles since 1985. In this video from April 1990 you'll see Mark Wallengren, Kim Amidon, Ted Ziegenbush and Bryan Simmons working on the air with cuts from our CoastLines package.
WCBS-FM New York, NY
Cousin Bruce Morrow June 8, 1991
On several occasions WCBS-FM aired reunion weekends where legendary top-40 DJ's from New York radio would each do a show and reminisce. Cousin Brucie, formerly of WABC, hosted his weekly Saturday night show on CBS-FM during one of the reunions and spoke on-air with Jon Wolfert from JAM. Brucie also plays a special PAMS Series 27 jingle, which was one of several produced by JAM for the reunion.
Carol Parker July 12, 1991
The Voice of America was created by the US government in 1942 to be "a reliable and authoritative source of news", as well as to present features about American life and culture to the rest of the world. The programming originates from Washington, DC, and originally relied on short wave radio transmission. In 1985, VOA Europe was created as a special service in English that was relayed via satellite to AM, FM and cable affiliates throughout Europe. With a contemporary format, the network presented top musical hits as well as VOA news and features of local interest (such as "EuroFax") 24 hours a day. JAM has created many custom packages for both VOA and VOA Europe. Some of those cuts were used in packages such as Bright & Sunny and Sunlight. VOA Europe closed down in January, 1997. Today, stations are offered the VOA Music Mix service.
BBC Radio 1 UK
Jingle Contest Winner June 30, 1992
In 1992, BBC Radio 1 ran a promotion called "31 Days in May" and gave away a different amazing prize each day. One person won a trip to Dallas to have a jingle produced at JAM. In this segment, which was aired on Steve Wright in the Afternoon, you will hear the winner's story and what went into making his JAM jingle (which was selected from our Rock Connection package).
Z100 (WHTZ) New York, NY
Chris Jagger, Dave Foxx July 8, 1992
JAM created the original jingles used by New York's Z100 (WHTZ) when it first began in 1983. The station quickly became #1, and for over 10 years JAM continued to make exciting, innovative Z100 packages which are used by hundreds of stations around the world. We visited Chris Jagger during his afternoon air shift on July 8, 1992, where you'll see him using cuts from our "Turbo Z" and "Z World" packages. We also dropped in on Dave Foxx to see where all of those master tapes were kept. (By the way, even though the station was famous for saying "From the top of the Empire State Building...", only the transmitter was there. At this time the studios were located in Secaucus, New Jersey. But at least you could see the Empire State Building from their 6th floor window, as you'll notice if you watch closely!)
WCBS-FM New York, NY
Cousin Bruce Morrow July 8, 1992
JAM has created the jingles used by WCBS-FM New York for over 20 years. On July 8, 1992 we spent an evening in their main studio with our old pal (and New York radio legend) Cousin Bruce Morrow. You'll hear the station using the Do It Again package, which we produced earlier that year. This video was part of a much longer presentation that was shown in our booth at the 1992 NAB radio convention.
BBC Radio 1 U.K.
Mark Goodier, Jakki Brambles October 1, 1992
Radio 1 (now known as "1 FM") is one of the BBC's national networks heard throughout the UK, and is one of Europe's biggest music stations. It began in September 1967 with jingles from PAMS, and then used exclusively JAM jingles from 1976 - 1993. On October 1, 1992 they were still celebrating the networks's 25th anniversary, and we sat in on Mark Goodier's "Megahits" show. We 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.
KVIL Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Ron Chapman September 1, 1993
JAM has created many custom jingles for KVIL over the years. When we went to take a look at Ron Chapman's top-rated morning
show on September 1, 1993 the Celebrate package was in use. This video was part of a much longer presentation that was
shown in our booth at the 1993 NAB radio convention.
At :45 into the video, we join Ron and friends at the tail end of a long bit that's already in progress. If you'd like to hear
the entire story (and understand the punchline better) you can hear that aircheck here.
WBAP Ft. Worth/Dallas, TX
Hal Jay September 3, 1993
Hal Jay has been at WBAP Ft. Worth/Dallas since 1981. For 13 years he had the unusual distinction of hosting both the morning AND afternoon drive-time slots, along with pilot Dick Siegel who was in the air doing traffic reports. We visited Hal on September 3, 1993, as he anchored all of the afternoon news, sports, weather and traffic interlaced with his own good humor. At that time the station, which had transitioned from country music to news-talk, was using The Spirit of New England jingle package from JAM (originally created for WBZ Boston). Hal continues to host the WBAP Morning News program. This video was part of a much longer presentation that was shown in our booth at the 1993 NAB radio convention.
BBC Radio 1 UK
Final AM signoff July 1, 1994
In September of 1967 the BBC launched Radio 1, the UK's first (legal) "top-40" station. At first it broadcast 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!
Various stations October 20, 1994
As our JAM Song says, "the sound of JAM is everywhere you go" and that includes Southeast Asia. Fans in North America are sometimes surprised to discover that programs in foreign languages often feature jingles in English, but it happens frequently. In this brief sample of FM stations from Indonesia's capital city you'll hear Along The Coast and Sky-Trax on Trijaya-FM, Magic Music 6 (and portions of New Day "lifted" directly from our demo presentation complete with the narration!) on Ramako-FM, Northwave on Radio ARH, and Z World and Z Force on Radio Prambors.
WCBS-FM New York, NY
Harry Harrison June 14, 1996
Long time New York morning man Harry Harrison is heard here using the Do It Again package, including a seldom-aired special version of the DJ jingle we recorded for the station's general manager! WCBS-FM always acknowledged New York's rich heritage of great stations and broadcasters, and understood that call letters, voices and jingles from the past are part of their listeners' lives and memories. The Jack Lacy tribute at the end of this aircheck is a perfect example.
Top-of-the-Hour in Denver
July 4, 1996
All on one day, you could hear JAM jingles in use on 9 Denver radio stations at the same time. We think that has to be some kind of record! The cuts featured in this aircheck montage are: KLZ It's Your Country, KKFN New York Fan, KEZW Great Memories, KYGO-AM Go West, KYGO-FM Hyperlink, KIMN Pro/Mod, KOSI American Mix, KQKS Z World, and KXKL Forever Kool.
KVIL Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Ron Chapman January 1, 2000
On the first day of the new millenium, fears were running high concerning Y2K problems. Even though it was a Saturday, Ron Chapman did the morning show to assure listeners that everything was OK... except, perhaps, for the special Y2K One Up jingles we made for the occasion!
WTJM New York, NY
Carol Ford May 30, 2000
During the years 1998 to 2000, a new format sprung up in many markets across the country. "Jammin' Oldies" was a blend of Motown, R&B and dance oldies. Most of these stations used a composite of classic JAM jingles with more soulful vocals than they had the first time around. On this aircheck you'll hear cuts from Hot KIIS, Class Action and Music Jam.
WABC New York, NY
"Rewound" Jingle Montage May 28, 2001
Beginning in 1999, WABC began a tradition of devoting Memorial Day to airing untelescoped airchecks of the station from the 60s and 70s, in recognition of the millions who fondly remember listening to Musicradio 77. The all-day event is called "Rewound". On several occasions we were asked to assemble a 20 minute montage of the most memorable and unique WABC jingles from that era, punctuated by occasional jingle-related airchecks. As one of those who grew up with WABC, Jon Wolfert was happy to put these together. One of our favorites is this one from 2001, which begins slightly before the PAMS era, and continues into the JAM era (which is still in progress to this day, even though the lyrics and the format have changed to "Talk Radio"). This is an actual aircheck of the montage, so you can hear these great old jingles with the AM fidelity, processing and echo that made them famous the first time around.
WABC New York, NY
The Making of WABC #121 February 13, 2006
This is a behind the scenes look at the creation of a new jingle for WABC radio in New York. It follows the progress of one
particular jingle (#121) which was produced along with many others, and became part of our Top News package. The recording
sessions shown were held in November 2005. JAM has done jingles for WABC since the 1970s, when it was still a music station.
Today WABC broadcasts news and talk programs.
This is a condensed version of a similar documentary we released on our "Jingles With Vision" DVD, which is available
via The JAM Store.
XM Radio USA
Decades Channel Montage December 17-20, 2007
XM Satellite Radio signed on in 2001 with an impressive array of JAM and PAMS jingles. Subscribers who bought XM radios
received over 100 channels, and over 70 of those were devoted to different genres of music. The "decades channels"
always used jingle packages from the correct time period, and we took great care to produce them as authentically
as possible. This montage is just a sample of the hundreds of jingles that were used by XM on these and other channels. You'll
hear PAMS Series 17, 18 and 14 on the 50s channel, PAMS Series 34c, 34 and 33 on the 60s channel, Pro/Mod and Priority 1 on the
70s channel, Turbo Z, The Flame Thrower and Warp Factor on the 80s channel, Z+, After Burner and Breakthrough on
the 90s channel, and Dance To The Music on Chrome (the classic disco channel). In 2008 XM merged with its competitor
Sirius, which also airs JAM and PAMS jingles.
Last updated 2/28/13
The audio content of this page is provided free of charge for historical and educational purposes only.
The copyrights to all non-JAM material are retained by their respective owners.