By Norman Barrington

By 1967 when Swinging Radio England launched, off the British Coast, several UK pirates were already well established; the leader was undoubtedly Radio London, whilst number two was Radio Caroline. The latter which was run on a tight budget never purchased customised American jingles, but instead used home-grown groups & singers, pieces cut from current songs, together with cuts stolen from American jingle demos, and generic jingles such as those made by SESAC (e.g. This is the swingingest station in town) and NAB (e.g. Lively Companion). Radio London, on the other hand had bought the most successful top 40 package to date from PAMS of Dallas, namely series #18 'Sonosational' released in 1961, (with a few series #17 'New Frontier' a couple from #26d 'The Beatles' and one from #16 'The Sound of the City'). Quite a large initial package, but not enough for Big L! Their jingle repertoire was enhanced by innumerable clever edits from PAMS demo reels of series #15, #16, #22, #23, #25, #26, #27, #28, and #29, (later Big L bought #31 as a top up)

Against this background, Radio England chose PAMS' series #27 'The Jet Set' as it's launch package. This was arguably PAMS' second most successful package ever, rivaling series #18 in the number of stations using it around the world. Based on a 'jet set' image, of flying to exotic locations, driving fast sports cars or riding on speed boats, all the sound effects were in there, together with a robust all-male vocal line, contrasting with a fast paced, brassy music track mixed with Glenni Rutherford singing operatic scat.

Although Big L had used all the cuts from the demo, the WABC demo version sounds very tame, against Radio England's version. Compare 'Where the action is', 'Positive charge', 'Golden Classic' or 'Let's Look into the Future Time' to hear what I mean. The male singers on SRE's version are louder, more excited, even raunchier as they sing 'Swi-i-i-i-i-ng Radio England!'

US Stations had a tradition of using a superlative connected with a station name, High Flying WING, Wonderful WIL, Yours Truly WHB, Colourful KQV, are some examples. The pirates continued with this idea; Big L's "Wonderful Radio London" logo melody taken from the already established "Wonderful WQAM", whereas Radio England had new melody created for the ID "Swinging Radio England". 'Swinging' being the US view of all things English, as in Roger Miller's "England swings like a pendulum do" [sic]

Radio England, like Radio London was also keen to enhance their on-air jingle selection, one of their jocks, Ron O'Quinn who had worked on Miami's WFUN had dubs of that station's entire jingle library. Better still, WFUN's catchphrase 'Fun Radio' and 'The Fun Spot' was perfect for editing, so we had an eclectic mix from PAMS #14 #16 & #22 with jingles like 'It's Blast off time on Funny Radio, we're going into orbit" or "Fun Radio, would like to ask you, do you remember, do you remember?" or "Less Talk More Music, Less Talk More Music, The Fun Spot". There were also packages from Futursonic & CRC, giving us "Weather Prediction", "The Station that keeps you Informed" and acapellas like "F-U-N Weekend", "The Boss Jocks, Bop-Bop, Play More Music Now!", "Boss Radio!" etc. Indeed the station's news format was a direct copy of the WFUN style. An overblown mix of big orchestrations, OTT stingers and a countdown throughout the weather, demanded a fast paced - almost hysterical, news presentation that would try the most professional of DJs!

But back to Radio Caroline for a moment! Tight for money (as always!) and a pirate in every sense, they couldn't believe their luck when Radio England began on-air testing. Perhaps because they were so thrilled with their brand new package, SRE made the serious mistake of playing out all their jingles in the clear between records and announcements. The transmission quality was above average with a wide bandwidth allowing Caroline to record almost hi-fi copies of absolutely everything, then edit them into existing material, et voilá! a free new package for Caroline "Fun Radio! It's agreed. Yes indeed, number one"

By the time SRE was on air for real, many listeners thought they stole their stuff from Caroline instead of the other way round. This left poor old SRE to go back a buy a new package. Perhaps PAMS #29 "Radio au Go-Go" would have made a good follow-up, but with less money to spend now, they went to cheap n cheerful Spot Productions buying 'Thatman' - Batman to you and me, but Thatman on the lyric sheet to cleverly avoid royalties due to the writers of the famous TV theme tune. Listen again sometime, can you hear them sing Batman or Thatman?

Swinging Radio England DJ Larry Dean, had worked on WPTR in Albany, a station that also had the Thatman package, so perhaps he made the choice of SRE jingles? Either way, this was an opportunity to get some free jingles for the DJs on the station so the original WPTR DJ's names were kept & the SRE Jocks renamed accordingly, perhaps it was Larry who suggested the jock names too?
That Radio England was ultimately unsuccessful is of course history, certainly the US style clashed with mainstream British culture, in a way Radio London had managed to avoid. But the jingles were classic Americana, and certainly fuelled my interest in US Radio, helping me to understand, by comparison with Radio London, how jingles can be re-sung, re-lyriced (is that a word?), and the concept of variable melody line ID logos added, over pre-recorded music beds, as perfected by PAMS of Dallas. I spent many a happy hour, finger poised above the record button, taping every jingle from every station, and sharing with friends, but oh! it was irritating when a jock spoke over them! Mind you the music was decent too....

By my late teens, I had discovered that I was not the only one captured by these tiny pieces of genius. Somehow I found collectors & traders in the USA and it dawned upon me, the scale of the jingle operation. In addition to expanding my trading pals, I began writing to all the jingle companies, and since they were all keen to break into the emerging British market, I was deluged with giant jiffy bags of demos, Pepper, TM, Heller, Drake and good old PAMS. I had never heard such excellent audio quality before, and in addition to regular demos, Jonathan Wolfert who was then working at PAMS probably realised that I was never going to buy anything, but that I was simply an avid fan not unlike himself, and kindly sent me loads of unusual packages too. Jiffy bags the size of pillows!
50 years later I am still a fan of jingles, and it has never been easier to collect and store jingle packages, the internet making contact with like minded guys a doddle. My collection has passed 50,000 packages, which represents a large slice of the whole world's radio jingles, which would fill several rooms, yet fits into a hard drive the size of a pack of cards. Massive as my collection is, it pales into insignificance compared to some of the American collectors, especially those in the actual business. You know who you are! The magnitude of my archive actually makes it hard to chose what to include in this sampler, but generally each item is outstanding is some way or another, and for the sharp eared experts, I have included a few 'trick' cuts with sneaky editing, to challenge your jingle knowledge, I have also included numerous cuts that I heard on the classic vintage samplers, as a nod to those who cleverly fuelled my interest in collecting as far back as the late 60's.

I have produced this 50th anniversary sampler as a salute to everyone that I have had the pleasure to trade with. The final track mentions many of you by name as you will hear. But I must give special thanks to Ken R Deutsch, producer and collector par excellence who I had the pleasure to assist in his own jingle operation. Whether or not you feature in that final track, thank you to everyone, past and present, for your generosity over the years, this sampler is dedicated to you all.

Norman Barrington
December 2017

Track 00 Introduction
Track 01 Series 14-19 Montage
Track 02 Series 20-29 Montage
Track 03 Series 30-39 Montage
Track 04 Series 40-49 Montage
Track 04a Commercial Break 1
Track 05 Ancient But Cute
Track 06 Competition
Track 07 Harmonies & Great Vocals
Track 08 Relaxing
Track 09 Weather
Track 09a Commercial Break 2
Track 10 Self Promos
Track 11 Quirky
Track 12 Fun
Track 13 Love
Track 13a Commercial Break 3
Track 14 Not PAMS
Track 15 Track In The Clear
Track 16 Salute To All Jingle Guys, Past And Present
All copyrights acknowledged.

If you would like to hear more PAMS or JAM material, including samplers, or would like cuts resung, please visit or the official pages of PAMS & JAM.

For more information on Pepper Tanner or older TM & Century 21 products including more samplers please visit the home of the Media Preservation Foundation.

Zip file of All Norman Barrington's 50th Anniversary Jingle Sampler Tracks

Full-Sized CD Cover Graphic
©2017 Ken Deutsch

For more information on PAMS jingles, go to the PAMS Website.
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