Wham Bam, thank you Jam!
Who would have thought it? Apparently Tony Blackburn was the first person to have a name ID jingle. On that basis, he was invited to speak at the Radio Academy's recent talk on the role of jingles, 'Wham, Bam thank you Jam!' in London. More of Tony in a moment.
Howard Hughes organised the evening, and had recorded an interview with JAM's President, Jon Wolfert. It was very enlightening and great to hear such enthusiasm about jingles! But that was why we were there.
The BBC's Johnny Beerling gave a rundown of how the first Radio 1 and 2 jingles were put together and the reasoning behind them. He played part of a 20th Anniversary JAM CD, which also paid homage to the Radio 1 jingles of the time. Johnny played many examples, and the audience enjoyed hearing Duncan Johnson's dulcet tones promoting "Where It's At". We were also treated to a very rare recording of John Lennon and Kenny Everett singing "Where It's At" promos.
At the time that Matthew Bannister took over Radio 1, such was his misguided lack of enthusiam for the station's current jingles (my words - not Johnny's, but he implied as much and everyone agreed!) that the master tapes were consigned to the skip. Fortunately, an engineer called Nick Pitts, rescued them in more ways than one! Johnny also mentioned that there was a great sign at JAM "Selling Spoken Here". Maybe some current stations should take note!
So, on to Tony Blackburn. He said he thought Johnny preferred the Radio One jingles to the records! Tony then revealed that when he heard the Radio London jingles while he was on Radio Caroline, he felt he just had to join Big L so he could play all the great jingles! Johnny Beerling agreed with Tony that Radio London had changed radio. Sadly no-one had thought to bring any pirate jingles for the evening, which would have shown some of the younger members of the audience why we pay homage to them and where it all started for the UK. One of the main points of the evening, I would have thought. Ho hum.
Tony went on to say that Radio London was definitely the best of the pirate stations, with properly-recorded jingles and not just copies of backing tracks with the station name over them. He said that he went to Tin Pan Alley to have his famous "The Tony Blackburn Show" jingle recorded at a cost of £50. However, he was quite scathing of British-made jingles, and said, "Go to America and learn how to do it!"
In Tony's opinion , "No-one in this country has jingle packages like the US. They're so powerful! We should get back to basics and spend money on jingle packages. The first person to go to America to make their jingle packages will succeed."
You can't argue with that!
Jingle Makers www.jingles.com
(what else would the link be?!)
Carl had the good fortune to meet the soulful Motown man who made his home in the UK
Edwin Starr, the great Motown legend, has sadly passed away from a
suspected heart attack at his home in Nottingham, England.
Edwin will be sadly missed and our thoughts go out to his family
and friends at this difficult time. His music will live on and never be
more appropriate than at this time.
Twiggy's 'Grim News' for the Golden Guys
Nobody old in this photo! Roger Day with Paul Burnett, Mary and Mike Ahern
See Twiggy in the 'hairy' days of 1971 here.
| This week Roger Twiggy Day
sent a message headed 'Grim News'. It read:
"My friends, old age is now confirmed. I was asked in a record shop if I needed any help. Damn cheek! Roger"
This sparked comments from many of Twiggy's youthful friends, which they generously shared with the rest of us.
Ron O'Quinn said: "Are you implying that they have made records since '74?"
John Ross-Barnard complained: "I object when the barmaid looks at me and says 'I suppose you want a glass?'"
Doris Allan wrote: "What's this "old" s**t? Much luv, Doris Allan. a.k.a. (in Native American) Crow's Foot.
Paul de Haan said: "I know what you mean. I am 50 now and young blond females of about twenty-five offer their help when I cross a busy road."
Chris Edwards contributed a whole list of "You know you're getting old when..." gags. The following three certainly struck a chord at Radio London:
You know you're getting old when...
...you don't require the latest mobile phone. Your ancient one that looks like a house brick still works perfectly.
...you refuse to pay £100 for a pair of trainers; the £5.99 pair is just fine.
...when the Nine o'clock News is the must-see TV programme and 'Top of the Pops' is something you used to watch.
Chris finishes with: "Personally, I seem to keep saying to people, you're only as old as you feel!"
Birthday to the Hall!
Benny - the fastest protest singer in the west!
The Radio Wave editor Ian MacRae sends apologies for the non-appearance of the scheduled April issue of the newsletter, caused by a computer crash.The Webmaster at Pirate Memories has asked us to apologise on his behalf to anyone who has been trying to reach the site recently. It has been unavailable due to 'a slight technical hitch', but is now back in full force and selling the lost Big L film as before.
"Many thanks for your last e-mail have been in touch with Christine from the States and she e-mails me quite often now great to hear from her after so many years.
Have also been in touch with Gordon Sheppard, whom I worked with at Capital Radio as well as Radio London, so it was really nice to hear from him too.
I am progressing and exercising three time a week with gym and swimming at a local golf and leisure centre but I am not golfing!
It is interesting looking at the new details on the Radio London web pages always something interesting to read - keep up the good work.
Cheers Ian D" [Photo: Ian (back) with Big L chums Purpleknees Edward, (left) Willy Walker and Cardboard Shoes (front)]
X Marks the Spot The Wolfman Remembered
In 1999, Howie Castle took Webmasters Chris and Mary across the Mexican border from California, to pay homage to the original site where Wolfman Jack had once broadcast from XERB. Now a shopping plaza, the former XERB site contains a 'mini-mast' and a plaque commemorating the Wolfman and the station.
Now the Texan town of Del Rio "The Best of the Border where Old Mexico meets the New West" is to erect a statue to honour the Wolfman, one of America's best-loved DJs, who died in 1995.The howling hero's rock 'n' roll radio career was launched via the Mexican 'border-blaster' stations.
(Left: the mini-mast at the former XERB site)
Locals have already had the chance to preview a miniature version of the statue, by sculptor Michael Maiden, which was unveiled during a recent music festival held in honour of the Wolfman.
The full-sized sculpture will be unveiled on October 31st a date known appropriately in the US as 'howl-lowe'en'.
(Thanks to Mike Terry for alerting us to this story)
John Schneider's Radiopoly (pronounced ray-dee-OP-a-lee) site tells how the Recording Industry Association of America is in the midst of a full-scale assault. Says John: "If you care at all about the continued freedom of small businesses to operate on the Internet, you'll tell everyone you know about Radiopoly.Org!" John, who also operates radiopoly.com would appreciate any feedback, especially from overseas visitors. Radiopoly clothing and merchandise is now available.
Meanwhile, Howie Castle alerted us to a feature by Guy Zapoleon of Zapoleon Media Strategies, dated 20th Feb 2003. In the article titled, 'Will Radio Get Better?', Guy writes:
Do you ever feel like you're in a horror movie - just when you think things can't get worse something even more horrible happens! Well that's the way I feel looking at radio today. If anyone had told that 13 year old kid who listened to his transistor in the 60's that radio would be dealing with this sad state of affairs I would have put my head in my hands and just cried.