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How Radio Jingles Are Made

How Radio Jingles Are Made
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The last time I wrote about radio jingles was in 2012, when I interviewed jingle writer Larry Greene in two parts (here and here). I love the sound of great radio jingles. The vocals harmonies are always tight and fresh, and the melodies they sing are meant to be catchy and addictive. The modern radio jingle has its roots in the close-harmony sound of vocal groups like the Four Freshmen and the Hi-Lo's (think “Let Hertz put youuu, in the driver's seat").

Before I turn you on to the clips I found of radio jingle singers being recorded, let me play you a few of my favorites that I grew up with in New York in the 1960s:

Here's the jingle for the old WNEW-AM...



Here's a bunch of Beatles-influenced jingles for the old WABC-AM in the 1960s...



And here's the jingle for WMCA-AM (the “Good Guys")...



So how are radio station jingles recorded? They're actually quite painstaking, sophisticated and demanding for even the best studio vocalists. Studio singers may need to sing the jingle upward of 50 or 60 times until the conductor or producer feels it's in the pocket and hitting the right notes. The end result should sound fun, carefree, hip, breezy and exciting. Most of all, the listener should look forward to hearing it over and over again.

Here are a series of videos I found of radio jingles being recorded...

Here's JAM Creative Productions recording a jingle for WABC-AM in New York. JAM has been doing them for WABC since the 1970s...



Here's Johnny Mann leading the Johnny Mann Singers in 2007 during a jingle session for KRTH-FM (K-Earth) in Los Angeles...



And here's a session at PAMS/TM in Texas for WABC in New York...

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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