JAM song

May 05, 2012, 03:53 PM

I know what you were like. When the songs began, as most 15 year old kids reached for the record button, your finger was on the pause button. Your goal was simply to capture the great harmonies of the jingles in-between. You have cassettes even now of bits of whole jingles, sandwiched between bits of songs, ends of links and the last words of old ads. Right?

Even as a callow youth, I detected a difference between my excellent local station jingles and the ones heard on Radio One. It was not until years later, I discovered the reason: JAM.

JAM Creative Productions is a Dallas-based jingles company which began to flourish in the seventies. It went on to make more jingles than any other jingle company in the World. Jonathan and Mary Wolfert founded the company. Jon had worked for PAMS and TM, so he knew the score. Famously, in the UK, the Radio 1 & 2 jingles from the mid 70s onwards were made by JAM. In those days, commercial radio was supposed to use only British work, although there was some mischief.

The singers were a familiar throng, singing the call-letters or names of station across the World for decades with sparkling clarity and that familiar, complete JAM wall of sound. I recall working with Jackie Dickson, as she was flown over to sing on a UK Alfasound package; and her experience was clear as was her influence on that day. She sat on her high chair knitting, pausing only to sing complex harmonies and offer a few smiley, helpful words to the Salford singers.

Working with the full JAM ensemble in Dallas, however, was incomparable. They mastered any cut within minutes. I also recollect a great Dallas December evening when the JAM team and friends cobbled together a Christmas concert. Imagine walking into a theatre and seeing JAM singers dressed as elves, singing great Christmas anthems in full JAM harmony. Wow.

JAM ruled radio. In this 1985 audio, enjoy the company demonstrating its work across the planet. The love and effort oozing from this piece is evidence of how JAM earned its reputation.