Frequently Asked Questions

General information concerning the production and use of radio identification jingles can also be found in the Radio Jingles section of this site.

Where do you find your singers for the jingles?

I want to be a jingle singer or writer. What should I do?

I have an idea for a jingle. Can I submit it to you?

Will you help to promote me or my band as a recording artist?

Can I obtain copies from the JAM archives of a specific station's jingle package?

Can I get a JAM jingle sung just for my personal use?

Can I still obtain a copy of The JAM Song?

Where can I find a complete list of all the JAM demo records and CDs?

Have JAM jingles been used in any movies?

Which station has JAM done the most custom jingles for?

What is the behind-the-scenes story of the demo presentation for the "Class Action" jingle series?

Which JAM package has been the most popular as far as number sold?

Q:

"Where do you find your singers for the jingles?"

A:

JAM 7-voice group Most of the voices you hear on JAM jingles belong to professional, full-time studio session singers. Recording jingles and commercials is their primary occupation. Although we have sessions with these vocalists on a regular basis, most are freelance. For a new custom jingle project, we select the combination of voices we feel will create the desired sound. Later, we usually syndicate those jingles to other clients. When this happens, the same group of singers who did the original vocals must be available to re-record the cuts with new lyrics. Because our clients expect this kind of consistency, we primarily use vocalists who live in the Dallas area. But on occasion we have recorded vocals in many different places including Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Miami, and Montreal.

Being a successful jingle singer requires a pleasant or unique voice, and a lot more. You must be an accomplished sight reader, have control over your vibrato and tone, and know how to blend and work with others. You have to be able to take direction, and change styles at a moment's notice. And it helps if you can derive some musical enjoyment from singing the praises of call letters and products every day!

Q:

"I want to be a jingle singer or writer. What should I do?"

A:

The first thing you're going to need is a demo, so that you can show potential employers what you sound like and what you can do. If you already have studio experience, compile a brief montage of material you're proud of. If you haven't recorded professionally before, you may want to rent time at a small studio to record a sample of your work. Either way, the demo need not be longer than 3 to 5 minutes. It should present as wide a range of your abilities as possible. A montage featuring portions of 5 or 6 different items is preferable to a demo which only contains one 3-minute song. But if that one song showcases your musical and expressive range, it might do the trick.

There are several ways to get jingle producers to hear your demo. The internet is certainly the fastest and least expensive method. If you have your own website, or even a web page on another site, make sure your latest demo is available there. The page should also contain some basic information about you, your experience, and your abilities along with contact information (such as an e-mail address). Send a brief e-mail to the producers you're trying to reach, and include a link to the site so they can easily access your demo.

Whether or not your demo is on the internet, you can attach a brief demo to your e-mail. But if you do, make certain that the size of the audio file you're sending is small. It is not a good practice to send someone an e-mail containing a huge attachment (over 1 MB) unless you have gotten permission to send it first. We suggest that you send mp3 audio files. Although they are technically not as good as WAV or AIF files, they are about one-tenth the size. Generally, everyone can play an mp3 file on their computer, whereas some other audio file formats could require a special player which the recipient may or may not have installed.

Of course you can always make copies of your demo and mail them out. CDs are the medium of choice for this, because they sound the best and are the easiest to deal with. It doesn't matter whether the CDs are made by a professional duplicator or by you at home, as long as the quality is good. If the demo sounds bad technically, it is unlikely that anyone will want to listen to it long enough to give you a fair chance. If you are mailing out your demo, please make sure to label each copy with your name, phone number and e-mail address, as well as what type(s) of work you're hoping to get. For example, beneath your name and info you might write "solo vocals", or "writer/arranger" or "voice-over". Remember that it is very likely for your CD or cassette to become separated from your cover letter or resume, so please make sure that your name and contact information are on both. It is very frustrating to find a great talent and have no idea how to reach her or him, and yet it happens all the time.

We often hear from vocalists and musicians outside the Dallas area who express interest in working for JAM "remotely". This would apply mostly to solo performances, or vocals where one singer does a lead and several backup parts on different tracks. If this applies to you, please indicate whether you have your own studio to record in, how it is equipped, and if you are able to easily upload and download audio files via FTP over the internet.

We encourage you to send your demo materials to JAM. Please go to the contact JAM page. From there you can either send us an e-mail or find our postal mailing information. Please note that it is not necessary to send your e-mail to everyone at the company. If you select "Employment Inquiries" (which will be pre-selected for you if you click on the link above) your message will go to the right place.

No matter which producer you send your demo to, in many cases you won't receive an immediate reply. In fact, demos sometimes accumulate for months before there is an opportunity to listen to them. If a producer is interested, your material will be kept on file until the right kind of project comes along. So if your contact information changes, you should send the new details to everyone you sent your demo to. It will also serve to remind them that you're still interested! This is a difficult business to break into, and part of it is being the right talent at the right place at the right time. But even though luck may help to get you in the door, your talent and ability is what will get you called back a second time.

Q:

"I have an idea for a jingle. Can I submit it to you?"

A:

We will not attempt to present or sell your music or lyrics to a client for you. In almost all cases, production companies and jingle writers wait for stations or agencies to approach them to do a project. At that time the client explains the parameters of the job and what they're looking for. But most of these entities are too busy to consider material created "on spec" which they haven't asked for. Radio and TV stations make their own decisions regarding when they want to change their on-air music and jingles, and most large corporate accounts employ advertising agencies to take care of that for them. Although it is not unheard of for someone with a great new idea to get the attention of the right person at the right time, it is unusual.

If you are a writer, you may send us samples of what you've done as a demonstration of your ability (as described above). If a new assignment comes up which we think would suit you we will consider hiring you to work on the project. But don't send us your existing material with the intention of us trying to get it on the air for you.

Q:

"Will you help to promote me or my band as a recording artist?"

A:

Sorry, no. JAM Creative Productions is not in the record or concert business. We do not provide artist representation, and we do not sign artists to recording contracts. There is a lot of good information on the internet regarding how to make a living in the music business. We suggest that you start by spending some time at the ASCAP website.

Q:

"Can I obtain copies from the JAM archives of a specific station's jingle package?"

A:

Not at this time. Although we completely understand that many collectors and radio enthusiasts enjoy having copies of jingles they fondly remember from a particular time and place, we do not have the manpower to honor those requests. It is very time consuming to locate and duplicate individual packages, and our production staff is kept quite busy keeping up with our flow of new product. You can, however, obtain copies of our CD demos from The JAM Store, many of which contain classic packages from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Q:

"Can I get a JAM jingle sung just for my personal use?"

A:

Yes. Read the full details about the JAM Personal Cuts program.

Q:

"Can I still obtain a copy of The JAM Song?"

A:

The original record and subsequent CD which included our 1985 promotional song are both out of print. But it is available for download here on the website.

Q:

"Where can I find a complete list of all the JAM demo records and CDs?

A:

That information, and much more, is available to collectors and jingle fans in our JAM Fans section.

Q:

"Have JAM jingles been used in any movies?"

A:

Ferris Bueller credit Yes. Directors often use the radio as a device for establishing a certain locale or time period. When they do, having authentic jingles from that station enhances the realism of the scene. Here is a partial list of films which include at least one JAM jingle:

  • Mrs. Harris (HBO)
  • Zodiac
  • Son of Rambow
  • Keep Your Distance
  • Private Parts
  • Nami no Kazu Dake Dakishimete (Japan)
  • Eddie
  • Losing Isaiah
  • Beverly Hills Cop III
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • The Fourth Protocol
  • Into The Night
  • O.C. and Stiggs
  • Promises In The Dark
  • The Shining

There have been JAM jingles in several other movies and TV shows through the years. Just remember if you're planning to use real jingles or commercials in a production, you must get a clearance from the owner first.

Q:

"Which radio station has JAM done the most custom jingles for?"

A:

KOST logo If you combine the work we've done over the years for the UK's Radio 1 and 2, then the BBC is the winner. (Radio 1 and Radio 2 are two of the national networks operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation throughout the United Kingdom). However, if you consider only a single station, the award goes to KOST (Coast 103.5) in Los Angeles. A very close runner-up is WLS Chicago, who has aired JAM jingles continuously since 1976.

Q:

"What is the behind-the-scenes story of the demo presentation for the Class Action jingle series?"

A:

"Class Action" was the first custom jingle package produced by JAM for WLS Chicago. The demo tape, which features John Records Landecker, was produced in 1978 and has become a cult classic. Click here to read about it and hear it.

Q:

"Which JAM package has been the most popular as far as number sold?"

A:

Warp Factor box labelHere's a list of our all-time Top Ten Packages (as of 7/11/12), along with the station that each one was originally created for. The list only considers syndicated jingle packages and doesn't include items like shouts, acappellas, and custom projects. The rankings are based on the actual number of cuts from each package which have been produced over the years for clients worldwide. It is not surprising that the winners are all titles which have been around for several years. That's because the longer a package has been out, the more opportunities stations have had to use it.

1. WARP FACTOR - 2500+ cuts, on 350+ stations! (Z-100 New York)
2. TURBO Z (Z-100 New York)
3. Q CUTS (Q-95 Detroit)
4. HOT KIIS (KIIS-FM Los Angeles)
5. BREAKTHROUGH (WPLJ New York)
6. THE FLAME THROWER (Z-100 New York)
7. SKYWAVE (Z-100 New York)
8. Z WORLD (Z-100 New York)
9. POSITRON (WABC New York)
10. FRESH KISS (KIIS-FM Los Angeles)