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You'll Like Our Style

WABC

Most students of broadcasting know that during most of the 1960s and '70s WABC (AM) New York was a top-40 music radio giant. Much has been written about the station's switch to a talk format on May 10, 1982. But WABC's last year as a music station is often overlooked.

In 1981, WABC was in transition. Ross and Wilson did the morning show, and Dan Ingram returned to his famed afternoon slot after a brief tenure as the morning man. But there were talk and sports shows on at night, and the station even carried NY Yankees baseball games. Jay Clark, the program director at that time, was trying to give the station a more adult feel to appeal to the many listeners aged 18-44 who had literally grown up with WABC. He wanted the audience to know that WABC was "New York's radio station" and reflected New York's style.

To promote this new direction, JAM created an unusual custom jingle package called "You'll Like Our Style". It had an intentionally different sound from prior JAM jingles produced for WABC. Instead of being sung by our 7-voice vocal group, these were done with 4 male voices. The music tracks avoided laser effects and instead incorporated funk, jazz and latin rhythms. There were short cuts and full image songs. Naturally, every jingle was built around the famous WABC logo melody. The lyrics, also created by JAM, were an attempt to engage the audience and reflect their New York pride and "style". And it was working. The station's ratings improved, but ultimately the move to FM radio for music listening proved too much to overcome, and corporate pressure mandated a switch to the all-talk format. Even then, to help smooth the transition the first JAM jingle package for Talkradio WABC ("Talk To Us") maintained the 4-male vocal sound and musical style that had been established in 1981.

To commemorate the package's 35th anniversary, you can play the demo below (never before released in stereo), or go to the "You'll Like Our Style" page to play the individual cuts.

Two of the TV spots used by WABC to promote this campaign can be seen in our montage "Radio on TV in the 80s". The spots utilizing music from "You'll Like Our Style" can be seen at :12 and 3:47.


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