Like most hit music radio stations of the sixties and seventies, WOR-FM and WXLO used jingles as a way to identify and brand the station. Jingles serve as a way to provide continuity and consistency to the sound of a radio station.
It's interesting that the first progressive rock format had jingles. 'OR-FM did since the format had yet to be developed as something completely different from Top 40 radio. The station was trying to play a greater variety of rock music in a less frenetic, more adult way. But it was also a descendent of Top 40. Words like "hits" were part of the format.
Here is the first jingle package ("The Sound Is") that was used during 'OR-FM's first year (1966-67) when it was a progressive rock station. It is Series 43 from CRC (Commercial Recording Corporation), Dallas. The music tracks were recorded in NY using Doc Severinsen and the band from The Tonight Show. The singing was added in Dallas:
WOR-FM CRC Series 43
"The Sound Is"
WOR-FM became a Drake-Chenault station in 1967 (as did the other RKO General Broadcasting stations). It took on the same branding as those other stations. In New York, they used the slogan "The Big Town Sound" (as opposed other slogans like "Boss Radio" which was used in Los Angeles at KHJ). This package of acappellas featured the Johnny Mann Singers:
Johnny Mann Acappellas (featuring the voice of Bill Drake)
The Drake "Series One" a jingles came a little later and were used for most of WOR-FM's time as a Drake Top 40 station. It's this series of jingles most people remember from the station:
WOR-FM's version of Drake Series One
(there are more from this Series not yet posted)
In the early seventies, an additional jingle package was added called the "Double A Image Pack". The music was recorded in Detroit at Motown and the singing was added in Los Angeles. These jingles came from "American Independent Radio" which was a syndication arm from Drake. It was responsible for jingles and specials like "The History of Rock and Roll" (for the purpose of marketing these programs to non-RKO stations):
"Drake Double A Image Pack"
(fans sometimes call this the "Motown Package")
In October of 1972, the station changed its call letters to WXLO. New jingles were required for the new call letters. Initially the station used re-sings of the Johnny Mann acappellas for WXLO:
WXLO Johnny Mann Acappellas
Eventually new jingles were commissioned for the station by Paul Drew (who took over RKO corporate responsibility after the Drake relationship ended in 1973). These came from the PAMS Energy One Series:
PAMS "Energy One" WXLO Package
Jerry Clifton became the program director in 1974 and re-branded the station "99X". Instead of sounding like a variation of the Drake format, the format evolved into hotter, more up-tempo sound sometimes referred to as "The Q Format". It had just one jingle which was pulled from the PAMS Energy One Package:
Jingles eventually disappeared from the 99X format although it continued as a Top 40 formatted radio station until 1980.
Thanks go to Jonathan Wolfert of
Creative Productions and
PAMS Productions for his help in documenting this history.
Thanks also to Neil Weiser, Tom Foty, Ted David, Steve Sobczuk and Robert Pellon for their contributions!
WOR-FM/WXLO/99X Main Page