Jingle Jaunts

A trawl through many classic UK radio station jingles from Robin Blamires

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

BBC Radio York

A slightly different post this time round as it's not often that there's a blog post based around a BBC Local Radio station.

However Radio York has to be one of the standouts who since their launch in July 1983 have relied on some of the finest heard on all the BBC Local stations in 40 years.

And I'm not just saying that because a fellow radio student on my University course worked there as a BA before going onto bigger things.

The station launched on the 4th of July 1983 to much publicity, where the first jingle package was by Memphis based company William B. Tanner which had a really delightful main theme.
The rest of the jingles can be heard below.

1983 Jingles - William B. Tanner

Two years later the station went to Dallas and brought a JAM package consisting mainly of the WNBC packages, as well as that delightful cut from "Special Touch" that can be heard at the beginning as well as ones from "I'd Rather Be In Denver" and "We'll Make Your Day".

1985 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

I could be wrong in suggesting this but I'm certain one of their presenters Victor Lewis-Smith had a hand in the above jingle package as he was a huge JAM fan and especially of the WNBC packages as one of them ended up being used in his TV Offal series on Channel 4 in the late 90s.

In 1989 David Arnold was approached to produce the next package with vocals by JAM as they came close to being represented by David Arnold before Jon decided to go with Alfasound as the UK reps due to their greater enthusiasm for jingles as opposed to just music.

1989 Jingles - David Arnold Music

Chris Choi, now at ITV News was one of those at the station who helped to realise the package and for me it has to be their liveliest and most energetic used in the last 25 years.

In fact I'll say it's the best custom package I've ever heard on a BBC Local Radio Station even if some of the cuts bare resemblance to existing packages such as the Century 21 "Proton" package and even a few vintage PAMS jingles such as the "Smooth Sailing" one at 2.29.

The package also contained these hard to find News and Traffic beds that can be heard here.
Apparently Radio 1 wanted the traffic jingle for themselves but Radio York wouldn't let them. Although their own one from the 1990 package was a lot better and comforting than Radio York's partly because Radio 1's only had horns at the beginning.

Into the 90s and 1991 saw a return to David Arnold who by this time was the UK rep for TM Century and BBC Radio York brought some of their finest with resings from "Proton", "WNSR '91", "Y98-FM" and a stunning solo cut from the K-Lite package at the end which a few jingle collectors have had done for themselves.

1991 Jingles - TM Century

By the end of the decade the station was using a JAM package with UK vocals consisting of jingles from the "American Mix" package for WBLI in Long Island, and sports station WFAN in New York.

Not as exciting as the last set but still pretty good.

1997 Jingles - ALFA/JAM Creative Productions

During the early half of the current decade the station even rebranded itself as "BBC North Yorkshire" but it didn't last too long.

And that more or less brings us up to date with the current jingle package as of 2007 which pretty much epitomises the current trend of a station's melody logo going down instead of up, musically.

2006 Jingles - Maximum Production

And to finish with, a special feature about the station's jingles for the 20th anniversary introduced by York resident and jingle enthusiast David Hemsley.

Usual thanks of course to Mark Hodgkinson, Dave Nightingale, David Hemsley, Stuart Barrett for the 1989 News and Travel cuts, and Aston McNeil.


At 6 June 2009 at 20:00 , Blogger Hodgey said...

Great work as ever Robin! However, just a minor correction for you; Radio York's first jingle package (1983) was by the William B. Tanner Company - the company changed it's name from Pepper Tanner in 1972.

At 7 June 2009 at 11:48 , Blogger Robin Blamires said...

Oh bugger, I always make that mistake.
Quite easy to do so and all.

I'll alter that post.

At 25 June 2009 at 00:23 , Blogger DavidH said...

Ha! I forgot all about that little feature I did for the station . . . yikes

At 25 June 2009 at 01:25 , Blogger DavidH said...

And don't forget the 1995 David Arnold instrumental package - this had very few sung jingles and the ones that were sung were dire (imho) - but the main instrumental themes were cracking!


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