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October 26, 2007

Comments

Michael Bell

Ken!I'm geeking out! I miss jingles so freakin' much. So much of the "Show Biz" has gone out of radio. Back in 1980, I became the PD at KAFY . The very first thing I did was dig out the Drake Package and put it back on the air. It sounded as great in 80 as it did in the sixties.

Aramael

I've never heard anything so relentlessly cheerful in my entire life. Thank you! We have (or had) a similar sort of thing going on in Australia, but clearly we never raised it to the level of art one finds in the US.Remember to wear a condom?

Smelvis

Sweet.It sounds like many came from the same music house. Same singers?

Anonymous

I never thought I'd hear a KHJ jingle long enough to cover a DJ bathroom break. Be Boss!

Wayne from Maine

Thanks Ken!As a former teenage board op, and DJ wannabe I STILL get a tear in my eye when I hear the Johnny Mann singers say: WRKOOOOO.......BOSTONNNNNN. It's like it's part of my D.N.A. now. I'm sure you have these feelings for one or two yourselfWayne

Anonymous

I can't tell you how many battles I've had to keep jingles on the air. Suits seem to think it's an outdated concept.All you gotta do is read the posts here to understnd how important they are.Thank you Johnny Mannb

Anonymous

Man, thanks for this post, it brings back a lot of memories. As a kid growing up in Philadelphia you were defined by the radio station you listened to, in my case it was either WFIL or Wibbage (WIBG - which I'm kinda disappointed you didn't have a jingle for) - Dick Clark vs Hy Lit (though the Geater with the Heater, The Boss with the Hot Sauce, Jerry Blavat was the best DJ in Philly at the time, though he didn't work at either station until late in his career), et al. Those stations had some great jocks and Philly radio was very influential as a rock 'n roll station)...Anyway, thanks for the memory.

pat reeder

I owe my marriage to this music. I met my wife, Laura, when we were both working at TM. She grew up in Dallas instead of California because her late father was Bill Ainsworth, a legendary sax/clarinet player and arranger who plays and sings on a lot of the jingles in this montage and I'm sure arranged quite a few of them (she even remembered some of them from when she was a little girl and heard him working on them). He was held in awe among Dallas musicians for his seemingly impossible arrangements that took 30 takes to get right, but once they did, they sounded amazing. Her dad was (we think) the youngest member ever of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, moved on to Freddy Martin's band, and backed up everyone from Tony Bennett to Ella Fitzgerald. He was living in California when Tom Merriman (later Mr. TM) started CRC and asked him to move back to Dallas to be group session leader. He held the same position at PAMS, then freelanced for TM and other Dallas jingle houses. He was a major perfectionist and cracked the whip on the vocal sessions, making the singers do it again and again until it was flawless.Laura recognized his voice on some of the male group stuff, as well as many of the other singers, who were like family to her, such as Trella Hart and Carol Piper. Carol was the wife of jingle writer Bob Piper and the mother of Brian Piper, now a brilliant pianist/arranger/composer in his own right. He's also the music director for Laura's musical/comedy show, "My Ship Has Sailed." You can see him playing live with her on an operatic aria parody here: Perricone Diet AriaSo many talented people used to work in radio, and they've been driven out of it by Clear Channel, et al, buying up stations, cutting budgets and homogenizing programming. Most stations are now run by bean-counters promoted out of sales and marketing. If people who knew how to entertain an audience could run stations again, young people might discover what an exciting and creative medium radio can be, the way it was when these jingles were recorded.

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About

    Ken Levine is an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer. In a career that has spanned over 30 years Ken has worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, DHARMA & GREG, and has co-created his own series including ALMOST PERFECT starring Nancy Travis. He and his partner wrote the feature VOLUNTEERS. Ken has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres.
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