Breakthrough – nothing compares I say
I spent an enjoyable hour this week talking to a friend about jingles. My lovely wife Linda would have hated it, but for me it was an hour well spent. It is true that anyone suffering from an addition has to admit they are addicted in the first place, especially before any treatment can work. I admit to being addicted to jingles and I ask for no treatment whatsoever. I have tons of them. I can spend an hour listening to some of my old JAM jingle CDs, just for the fun of it. My absolute favourite jingle package of all time would be ‘Breakthrough’ from JAM and WPLJ. Nothing compares to that moment in time when this jingle package changed the face of hundreds, if not thousands, of radio stations across the world. Hear the full WPLJ package here.
I could argue about jingles all day long. I admit to liking cheese, old fashioned ones, jingles that sound a little outdated are simply not outdated to me. Jingles cemented my love of radio, it was one of the reasons I was so excited about the medium, it is why I loved radio in the first place. The first time I got a jingle with my own name on, I nearly wet myself. My absolute favourite memory was when I was at BBC Radio Cumbria. We used to take Radio 2 through the night (and they should still do that by the way instead of 5Live) and the late Ray Moore was on the early show. He provided me – and I can only assume many others – with a link that said…. And that’s it from me from Radio 2 and now we join John Myers at Radio Cumbria. Oh my goodness, I had arrived and I still have it somewhere in my garage today.
Jingles make a station. A station without jingles or brilliant imaging is not a station I would like to run. Of course, life is all about opinions. One person’s jingle package is anothers nightmare. I like that. It is why footballers are good with one manager and crap with another. It is why one radio station works under one PD and dies a death with someone else. At Red Rose I remember commisssioning from the legend that is Steve England a package for our AM Gold station which were ‘sound-a-likes’ of old 60s songs made into jingles. They worked, but it was the FM Breakthrough package I loved more. So much so, when I left Red Rose to launch CFM in 1993, I used the same breakthrough package again. It was hugely powerful and I can name each jingle by the opening 2sec burst.
The truth is Jingles is an art form. A lot of people can do them but there is a period of time when some are at the top of their game. We have jingle companies today that are breathtakingly good. But I have yet to hear a package that made me as bloody proud to run a station (just for the sheer excitement of this jingle package) as I did back then in the late 80s and early 90s. When I launched Century, I asked JAM if I could do the Voice Over for some of their UK Jingle packages. Instead they used Keith Pringle. Whatever happened to him!
My son thinks I love cheese too much. I tell him he does not love jingles enough. In a future Radio Academy podcast, we will explore jingles and imaging along with sonic logo’s, which are so very much under-rated if you ask me. I might even organise a ‘jinglefest’ night where we all bring one jingle and get everyone to vote on ‘The Best’. However, right now, if I said you could only take one – and I mean just one – jingle package on a desert island with you, what would it be?
I bet you would remember my package more.. .. but I am open to debate.
STOP PRESS. I hear someone is soon to launch a 24hour non-stop jingle radio station. Love that!!