Great Epictetus Quote
When Radio Stations had City Songs

Things you Never Knew About Radio Station Jingles

I hope you’ll forgive my obsessive interest in this topic, but as some of you know I wanted to be a disc jockey when I was young. I scored a six-week gig at KVAN, Vancouver, playing underground rock in AM mono in the summer of 1969, but that was the beginning, middle and end of my career spinning records. The station was too small and cheap to afford sung jingles, so I never knew the thrill of hearing the Johnny Mann Singers singing my name (or even my air name, Gene Paul).

I don’t think young people listen to radio much anymore, but oldsters will surely remember the jingles burned into their memories. “More music, 62 KGW,” and “KISN radio, 91-derful” will be playing in my head on my death bed.

Years ago, a long-time friend of mine, Bruce Murdock, whose DJ dreams came true, walked me through the KGW Drake-Chenault jingle package, which is how I learned about “transition jingles.” As a civilian, you may never have noticed, but some jingle tempos were varied to create smoother transitions. As Murdock recently wrote:

“We had slow to fast, fast to fast and fast to slow. I asked where the slow to slow was and was told it was not format to play two slow songs back to back. Also in the package were logo jingles to shoot you out of commercials into music. The latest Drake package (known as double A) had four of those to match the song tempo. Slow, Medium, Fast, and VERY Fast.”

Think back. Can you remember that the jingles did this tempo shift? I’ll wager the musicians among you noticed the tempo change, but I wasn’t a musician then and I assure you I didn’t notice until it was pointed out to me.

And while we’re on the subject, this page of jingles from the days when KMPC played music is one of the most impressive such sets I have ever heard. Makes me wish I’d achieved my dream of becoming a disc jockey. For those of you who can remember him, Gary Owens of Laugh-In was a KMPC disc jockey.


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