Jingle Jaunts

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

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Lincs FM

This blog post is about a station I've heard on and off over the years but bizarrely enough, I've never actually been staying in Lincolnshire whenever I've had the chance to hear it.

Normally it's just outside of the county either when spending Christmas in North Derbyshire, or being the ideal accompaniment on a weekend away on the North Norfolk coast, alongside Vibe FM when it played disco tunes as well as just R&B.

That's not to say I have anything against Lincolnshire or the area itself, especially as quite a lot of people I've known at University come from the area, and the station was and probably still is a bloody great change from the repetitive monotonous stuff heard elsewhere and it has really came across on air.

Having a really good selection of jingles over the years has added to the warmness and comforting style of the station although it has to be said that I preferred the JAM packages to the rather bog standard custom packages that have been dominant on the station and the network over the last 8 or so years.

It's therefore the aim of this blog to remember even more of the finest JAM jingles heard on radio in the UK from Lincs FM and it's various sister stations.

The station was set up by David Lloyd formerly of Leicester Sound alongside several other station staff including launch presenter Nick Jackson who rather ironically was brought into replace David in his mid-morning slot at Leicester Sound before being asked to join him at his new radio station.

Nick was also the station's first Breakfast presenter who stayed for a year before moving to SGR Colchester.
Other presenters from the launch included former Grimsby Hospital Radio presenter Andy Marsh, and Eddie Shaw who had joined from 210 FM and in good timing considering their takeover by GWR at the time.

The launch can be heard here making use of that bloody song by John Miles which normally makes an appearance in the network's Top 200 every year.
Then head of station David Lloyd in all fairness did mention that he was short of time when putting the sequence together and technically it worked brilliantly.

And thankfully the station played an awful lot more than
Simply Red and Phil Collins, who's version of "You Can't Hurry Love" was the first record played.

The original jingles used by the station from it's launch and 8 years onwards were from JAM with Alfasound vocals at the preference of the station's then managing director Michael Betton who didn't want anything in their presentation that sounded American.

Packages resung included "Sunlight", "Brite And Sunny", "Hyperlink", "Digital Mix" (including the weather jingle), and even "The Beat".
There were also custom tracks by Alfasound including beds for news and traffic reports.

1992 Jingles - Alfasound/JAM Creative Productions

The station became instantly succesfull which wasn't surprising considering the only competition were the national stations and BBC Radio Lincolnshire, although Lincs FM made sure that it stood out.

One year later they brought another jingle package to complement those already used on air, again with UK vocalists which regarding the choice of cuts was rather questionable.

Especially on the jingles resung from the CBS-FM and KOST packages as the harmonies are rather dreadful compared the Dallas vocals.

The one at 49 seconds in does bring back a few memories of hearing it at 5am on a rather bright Sunday on spending a weekend in Wells in West Norfolk.

1993 Jingles - Alfasound/JAM Creative Productions

One of the more interesting yet bizarre choices was a resing of cut 2 from "Best Country" which was one of JAM's earliest jingle packages from 1975.

It can be heard above with a witty introduction from Jon Wolfert himself.

I'm guessing that Len Groat was an influence as by this time Alfasound had hired him and his encylcopaedic jingle knowledge as a consultant, and I know he was a big fan of the Best Country package.

The station also held a competition for listeners to create their own jingles and one of the efforts can be heard here.

More of the same was to come in 1995 when the station brought it's third jingle package and one of my favourites.

I like how they made the sensible option of using solos on some of the cuts, especially the one from "Special Touch" at 2.27 as to have the whole group singing that line together would be a crime against nature.

I also really love Steve Butler's solo on the KVIL cut at 1.12.

1995 Jingles - Alfasound/JAM Creative Productions

More classic JAM cuts were included including another one from "Best Country", and that ever iconic piano jingle from "Backseat Music" as previously used on Radio 1 in the 70s.

Overall though, many jingle fans will remember this package for the infamous blooper from this rendition of Cut 10 from "The Beat 92" with the first example being what the jingle was mean to have sounded like.

No wonder the vocals overall sounded inferior to those in Dallas.

A year later, neighbouring station Viking FM which broadcast to Northerly parts of the Lincs FM area brought a selection of cuts from the "Uni-Que" package that were used by Lincs FM.

With the station unhappy about the situation, Alfasound agreed to compensate by providing them with some additional cuts for free including a selection of jingles previously used by Radio 1 such as cut 4 from "The Best Show", and the station song from the 1987 package which was adapted as Lincs FM's weather bed throughout the late 90s.

There was also a superb resing of cut 20 from the "Non Stop Power" package and if anyone has the main cuts or a montage that they'd be happy to donate to the site, then you're more than welcome.

More classic Radio 1 jingles were dominant in the station's next package in 1997 mainly from the KZZP package but there were also a few such from "Hitradio", "Meltdown" and even Radio 1's custom package from 1984 which became
"Into The Music".

1997 Jingles - ALFA/JAM Creative Productions

There's a few more country cuts including one from "Country Class" which was part of Radio 2's enourmous package from 1986, but best of all has to be the
Top 30 bed taken from the rare Scott Shannon "Rockin' America" package from his syndicated show in the mid 80s.

That's actually one of my favourite JAM packages and also a favourite of JAM fan Sean Martin who had this cut resung, only for someone to think it sang "#Europeans, In Drag!"

By the late 90s, Lincs FM was starting to stem further into UK radio by launching a set of stations around Yorkshire and the Midlands.

This meant more JAM jingles and with Steve England now running things on his own, the stations decided to go all out and use JAM vocals as well.

In the Bassetlaw area was Trax FM who's package was predominantly a resing of the "Celebrate" package for KVIL.

Trax FM 1998 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

The station was returning to the airwaves after a successful RSL in 1996, so the first record appropriately enough was Take That and "Back For Good".

Trax FM also launched in Doncaster a year later with the same package as well as further cuts from the Radio 2 1992 custom "It's All For You" and the "Totally Kool" package from Kool 105.

Around the same time as the Bassetlaw station, launched Fosseway Radio broadcasting to the Hinckley area of Leicestershire. The programme controller was Paul Robey who had joined from GEM-AM and the jingles were from the ever superb "Special Touch" package, regarded well by many JAM fans.

Fosseway Radio 1998 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

Another station also launched in the Stamford area by the name of Rutland Radio and this was probably my favourite package from the sister stations, consisting of cuts from the classic "Magic Music" series as well as the news intro from WMAL's "Number 1 Voice" package also used a few years earlier
by Invicta Supergold.

Rutland Radio 1998 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

It's difficult not to think of Victor Lewis-Smith's "Weirdo Bags" whenever I hear the jingle at 0.47. Possibly because it was just that tiny bit better than the version done for Rutland.

Following in their footsteps, Lincs FM's next package in 1999 also contained JAM vocals and featured some stunning cuts from "Hit Power", "Hot Buttons", "Soft Sensation" and even the top of hour from "Turbo Z".

There were also jingles from the "Heartbeat" package originally done for Heart 106.2 in London, as by this time they had dropped the package in favour of a custom from Vibe Music, and other stations in the UK were allowed to start using the package.

1999 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

Presenter, and station producer Duncan Newmarch was obviously quite a fan of the wailing noise from the Turbo Z and Metroline cuts in the above package, that he adapted within remixes of some of the older cuts as can be heard in this selection below.

Lincs FM Various On-Air Jingles

The selection also includes the original "phone tones" jingle used at random to ask people to start phoning in to win a CD during the Winning Weekends.

Another station launched, broadcasting to the Wakefield area under the name "Ridings FM" but this time round they went to TM Century and brought a resing of "Big Time Radio" which was rather superb.

Once again if anyone has the main cuts, it would be a welcome addition.

2001 saw the launch of another station following a successful RSL. That being Compass FM who would broadcast to the Grimsby area which was already served by Lincs FM but the group made sure that it's content would be different.

This was acheived by providing a lighter sounding station and with jingles to match from JAM from a selection of their KOST packages.

The launch can be heard here and the jingles can be heard below.

Compass FM 2001 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

The latter half of 2001 also saw major changes for the group as it was announced during the summer that all stations apart from Compass FM would introduce a new custom package across the network and would drop all of their existing jingles.

In preparation, Lincs FM made less use of their "Playing Hits and Making Memories" strapline, in favour of simply "Hits And Memories" where some of the jingles with liners were altered.

One of them being a rather strung out sweeper where over the cut from "Evolver"
in the 1999 package it would have a voice going "Newark's Hits and Memories, Scunthorpe's Hits and Memories, Grimsby's Hits and Memories" before hitting the vocal tag.

The package itself was called "Link Up" and the demo can be heard below via Steve England's website containing a mixture of UK and Dallas vocals.

2001 Demo - "Link Up" - Steve England

When hearing the jingles on Lincs FM in October 2001 it was more than evident that they had taken a much needed contemporary direction and along with liners recorded by Rik Scott, it gave it a fresher sound whilst not making major changes to the programme content and each station remaining local.

The "FM" named stations would share the same melody logo as Lincs FM, whilst those ending in "Radio" would have a slightly different melody logo, although the news intro had four notes which sounded very similar to the tune
"Happy Up Here" by Royksopp.

My favourite cut was the weather bed done in the style of many a UK garage track around the time but judging by it's 4 year span on air, it managed to date pretty quickly.

The station overall didn't really feel the same as it did with the JAM jingles and I found myself turning away from the station and my visits up North becoming fewer.

More licenses continued to be won by the station including one for the Barnsley and Dearne Valley area which went under the name of Dearne FM.

As expected they also had a resing of the "Link Up" package which can be heard below.

Dearne FM 2003 Jingles - Steve England

At the end of 2005, a new package was introduced also by Steve England but it sounded as if it hadn't moved on or developed from the last package and was just as unmemorable.

2006 Demo - Steve England

Compass FM however kept JAM jingles on air, albeit with UK vocals from various KOST packages as heard in this off-air montage as recorded by Paul McGrath for the Jingle Network podcast a couple of years ago.

Lincs FM had also managed to acquire Oak FM in Leicesteshire amongst it's station but in 2006 they failed to win the license for Hull and East Yorkshire with their station "White Rose Radio".

In the end the winning bid went to KCFM which for me personally provides a more superior station than Lincs FM does now. Possibly because they've got some of Lincs FM's old presenters such as Steve Jordan, and Rob Langley. As well as some rather nifty and superior jingles from the TM Studios.

However in spite of the station's more uniformed formats, Lincs FM did provide us with some of the most interesting (and sometimes hilarious) resings of the finest JAM jingles.

Thanks of course to David Nightingale, Mark Hodgkinson, Christian Spooner, Len Groat, David Barras, Sean Martin, Paul McGrath, and Duncan Newmarch.


At 24 October 2009 at 21:43 , Blogger Monkeyboy said...

Some of these jingles bring back some really good memories.

At 9 June 2010 at 01:00 , Blogger tvstudies said...

Of course, Lincs FM have now bought KCFM and they now have that licence!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home