Jingle Jaunts

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

Friday, 5 June 2009

Swansea Sound

Quite a brief jaunt in this case as I don't know an awful lot about the station itself but throughout the 80s in to the 90s they had some superb jingle packages.

Swansea Sound was one of the earliest ILR stations to launch in the UK, taking to air in 1974 with a jingle package by EMIson.

However it's the early 80s where we begin and the 1981 package as produced by British company Sue Manning Music. Definitely one of my favourites from the producers, this package features a rather cool sounding melody as the main theme with female vocals from a woman who sounds very similar to Sheena Easton.

The main theme can be heard here, and the jingles themselves can be heard below.

1981 Jingles - Sue Manning Music

My only main problem is that all the jingles like many of Sue Manning's packages were all based on the same them and key, apart from the closedown jingle at the end which is on the key of C-Major instead of E.

There's also some nice instrumental cuts, especially the extended version of the news theme at 4.42.
It's just a shame can't really be said about the cuts for Weather, Sport and Traffic as I've never really been a fan of single tracks for such items when they don't have beds.

And I bet those of a certain generation will think the sports jingle bares a shocking resemblance to an annoying song for their youth later half-inched by the Rezillos on the song "Top Of The Pops".

Then again, that was very much common place in local radio in the "dark ages".

With regards to the news theme, I've only recently found out that the particular cut (and possibly the whole package) stole the melody from the Spyro Gyra track "Lovin' You" as included on their 1980 album "Catchin' The Sun".

The proof can be heard in this short extract starting off with the said
Swansea Sound jingle.

1987 saw a new jingle package introduced to the station from the then masters of the game Alfasound, giving a more vibrant and brighter uptempo sound to the station.

1987 Jingles - Alfasound

Rather bizarrely the station managed to escape the IBA's "Use It Or Lose It" policy beyond the late 80s and continued to broadcast on AM and FM without any major changes.

The split finally came in 1995 when changes were made on 96.4 FM where the station became known as "Soundwave" and is now known simply as "The Wave".

New jingles were introduced on both stations in the form of custom packages from Alfasound with JAM vocals. The Soundwave ones can be heard below.

Soundwave 1995 Jingles - Alfasound

Swansea Sound continued to broadcast on AM and introudced another package with the tagline "The Original Swansea Sound" and it was a superbly orchestrated package with Dallas vocals to match.

Swansea Sound 1995 Jingles - Alfasound

By the late 90s both stations were now owned by the Wireless Group and the Wave on FM were using a resing of Vibe's generic package for the Wireless Group if I remember correctly, and Swansea Sound used a resing of a package for another similarly named station, Wave 105 in Hampshire.

And both stations are still going with Swansea Sound turning 35 this year.

Thanks to Andrew Rogers, Geoff Barton, and Ian Johnson for various audio and info.


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