Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ken Levine's Place In Jingle Lore

Ken Levine is an Emmy-winning writer for television, writing shows like "M*A*S*H" and "Cheers". He also has a blog which is quite fun to read and as such is on our blogroll. He's also a baseball fan and broadcaster. But he also has a lot of radio in his blood, and I ran across something interesting last night. Levine participated in one of the greatest jingle demo tapes of all time.

For the uninitiated, jingle production companies like JAM Creative Productions, Inc. would create new packages of jingles to syndicate to radio stations, usually piloted at a certain station. In 1978, JAM created its first custom package for WLS in Chicago called "Class Action", featuring its star deejay of the time, John "Records" Landecker. JAM's owner and founder, Jon Wolfert, created one of the most entertaining demos ever made, mixing the cuts in with phone calls purportedly from listeners. Much of it was adlibbed, and one of those callers was Ken Levine. He's the guy who's asking what the jingles would sound like for stations whose call letters began with "K" (usually indicating a station west of the Mississippi, but there are exceptions like KYW in Philadelphia). There's a great bit at the end with "your local announcer" (actually WABC's Dan Ingram!), crafted entirely from outtakes and cut number calls taken from other packages (perhaps Pro Mod?)

Anyway, here is the link to more info on the Class Action demo, including a link for download


Ellen said...

In a small world coincidence, Jonathan Wolfert is my high school classmate, and Ken Levine is the brother-in-law of my close friend from college.

Dave Mackey said...

We unfortunately had to remove Ken's blog from the blogroll due to language and content incompatibilities, but it is still a wonderful blog.