Jingle Jaunts

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

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Radio Tees/TFM

Still in the North East, I thought it would be more than appropriate to write a Jingle Jaunt on the station for North Yorkshire and the Darlington area.

I'm not too much of an expert on the station itself but this is a jingle site of course so I'll start it off with the station's first jingle package by EMIson, used from it's launch in 1975.

1975 Jingles - EMIson

Personally it's not the most inspiring of packages with all the cuts based around the same theme, the chord structure of which bares quite a resemblance to the tune "Higher And Higher.

The various News and information jingles from the package can be heard here.

A second package from EMIson came in 1977 with a livelier set of cuts but still retaining the lesser polished production values that EMIson were known for.

1977 Jingles - EMIson

The Selby based Cath Baxter Commercials was approached to write the following jingle package way onto the air in the late 70s/early 80s.

I'm not sure if these are from 1979 or 1981 but I'm pretty certain someone from the North East reading this will correct me.

Early 80s Jingles - Cath Baxter

One such fan of the jingles was then Scarborough resident David Hemsley who actually wrote into one of the presenters requesting three of them to be played in the "My Top 3" feature, including the rather picturesque weather jingle based around the song "Bobby Shaftoe".

It can be heard along with the news themes here.

1983 saw another package which was even better with superb orchestration and delightful arrangements and vocals.

1983 Jingles - Cath Baxter

It's also worth posting this clip of the man who now broadcasts to a national audience at "The Best Time Of The Day", that being Alex Lester from 1984.

Following the station's acquistion by Metro Radio in the mid 80s, the jingles took a different more rapid sound courtesy of Alfasound, in comparison to the rather rural orchestral jingles from Cath Baxter.

The package from 1987 couldn't be more different from the above examples including a few cuts making use of the sound of the contestant's buzzer from Catchphrase.

1987 Jingles - Alfasound

In 1988 along with Metro the station split frequencies although Radio Tees decided to relaunch altogether by rebranding as TFM.

The jingles took on an even more pacier sound with some weird ambient effects thrown in.
I never understood why they referred to the frequency as "96-60" although that's possibly how it read on digital car radios in the days before RDS.

TFM 1988 Jingles - Alfasound

A set of Christmas jingles came at the end of the year in a similar style but this time with US vocals.

TFM 1988 Xmas Jingles - Alfasound

Into the 90s and the station brought it's first JAM package which was a resing of the popular package "Breakthrough" also used by Red Rose Rock FM.

TFM 1990 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

Accompanying the jingles were a set of sweepers voiced by John Wells.

In 1992 there was another package also containing cuts from Breakthrough but with a different melody logo as well as cuts from "Brite And Sunny" and "Power Up".

TFM 1992 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

A couple of years later TFM brought another JAM package consisting mainly of cuts from the "Energy" package custom produced for NRJ in France.

Again it's pretty rare to get hold of but here's a selection from the studio carts courtesy of David Barras.

TFM 1993/94 Jingles - JAM Creative Productions

In 1995 the station went to MPT, a subsidary of TM Century and Tom Merriman for a resing of their KIIS FM package which sounded pretty slick on air.

The selection below was orginally posted by Neal Bowden on Jinglemad.

TFM 1995 Jingles - MPT

The package made a brief apperance in the demo for the station's current set of jingles by the TM Studios and they continue to broadcast under the name TFM Radio.

The demo itself can be heard here via the TM website.

Thanks of course to David Hemsley, David Barras, Neal Bowden, and Simon Hirst for all the usual stuff.


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