Monday, 19 February 2018


Shortly after the former US minesweeper Density (renamed Galaxy) arrived off the coast of Frinton-on-Sea (Essex) in the second half of December 1964 listeners -like myself- immediately were charmed by one of the most successful American jingle packages. It was created by Pams of Dallas and consisted mainly of the so-called series 18 “Sonosational”. The initial jingle repertoire had been further enhanced by scores of clever edits. It was Radio London's early programme director Ben Toney, a Texan, who had overseen the production of Pams Radio London jingles.

In the 50's and early 60's US stations had developed a tradition of using a superlative connected with a station name, like “Colourful KQV” and “The Mighty 690”. Jingle beds had been composed to allow for such superlatives. That's the reason why Radio London became “Wonderful Radio London”. The station was also referred to as “Big L”. A lesson learnt when years later we were managing local station Radio Dynamo in Knokke-Heist (Belgium) and called it “De Grote Dee” (The Big D).

Creating Radio London's jingle package to a large extent meant adapting jingles that had been made for other stations in the States. That is why unexpectedly also a jingle in Spanish was lurking in the series: “Esta es la estación número uno en London England es mi favorita. Wonderful Radio London, Olé!. (6th jingle) This caused some confusion. Because the jingles were so fast and slick not everyone could easily understand some of the lyrics, especially when they were suddenly confronted with a foreign language. Hence it is no surprise that 10 year old John Bennett was completely baffled by Big L's 'Spanish jingle'. It resulted in a beautiful piece of mondegreen. John thought he heard “It's the last tin of tuna in London England, see the ballerina. Wonderful Radio London. Olé”.

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes.

No comments:

Post a Comment