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My Ken R. CD Collection: Photo 3/11
Image by raider3_anime
Since I was on the subject of posting up my music playlists (computer, ipod, etc.), and eventually my physical music collection (CD, LPs (still no turntable ^_^;)), I've decided to start with something related, and that has been near and dear to me.
I'm in the mood to share, and this is part of what makes me who I am.
About a decade ago, I got into the hobby of collecting radio jingles. (Those bits of presentation and production that air in between the songs, that define a radio station's identity and format, and that graced the airwaves, with the "Golden Age" most likely being around the 1950s through the 1970s.)
I got into collecting radio jingles more or less by accident, remembering the mainstream radio I listened to while growing up in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. (Yes, I'm older than I look. My cut-off point is around 1996/1997, when KOME-FM 98.5 in San Jose, CA faded out of existence. ^_^;)
I came across an online museum dedicated to archiving radio station airchecks from the latter half of the 20th century - Reelradio.com (I need to resubscribe someday.), and I'd spend my time not web surfing, chatting, or playing games, listening to radio that existed before I was born, or that was popular in other areas of the USA when I was young. Occasionally, I'd catch airchecks of Dr. Don Rose on KFRC-AM in San Francisco (I grew up listening to him ^_^;), among other radio legends.
In the early 2000s, I started collecting radio jingles and related CDs, thanks to a man named Ken R. Deutsch from Ohio, who ran his own jingle sales and production company from 1977 to 2005, catering to professional disc jockeys as well as classic jingle collectors.
I'll share the few CDs I acquired from 2000 to 2005 with you here.
These four discs showcase WLS-AM 890 (Chicago, IL), and are the cornerstone of my jingle collection.
(True Story: I'm a die-hard fan of John Hughes' early films, primarily everything from "Sixteen Candles up through "Planes, Trains", and Automobiles" - In 1987, he released a film called "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (the one with Sarah Jessica Parker's husband ^_^;), and the first thing I heard when the film started was a era-appropriate jingle for WLS-AM, and an uncredited disk jockey voice (I believe it was "Superjock" Larry Lujack"), and ... well, that did it for me, after a few replays of the film, and my longing for the "Shermer, IL" fictional universe helped as well.)
WLS-AM was a rock station from 1960 until 1989, when it switched to its current news-talk format.
The 1960s (Upper right) features the initial Anita Kerr jingles (a smaller subset of what's featured on the disc in the previous picture), and the beginning of a long relationship between WLS and PAMS Productions (Ending with the dissolution of PAMS in the mid 1970s). My favorites off this disc, other than the Anita Kerr Singers, are the early PAMS packages (Including their Sonovox series), and the later 1960s a capellas.
The 1970s (Lower left) features WLS's evolution into "The Rock Of Chicago", with the rise to prominence of the big name local jocks, especially Larry Lujack. There was a brief period where WLS went with Jodie Lyons (a jingle writer who defected from PAMS to start is own company) in 1973, and the PAMS series that followed it has a tongue-in-cheek look back at that moment in time. The 1976 custom series has a rather hokey intro theme based off 1776 and the Continental Congress, but the jingles themselves obviously have a disco flavor to them.
Disc four (Lower right) features some rarities, primarily audition cuts, liners, and instrumentalsm, as well as a second look at Jodie Lyons' work in 1973. (The instrumentals were pretty good.)
Jumping back to Disc one in the upper left, some of the non-PAMS packages are features, along with some PAMS demos from the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as Ken R and his group's promo for 1985 (WLS' 25th anniversary of their rock music era.)
Mind you, these discs, as well as all the Ken R. discs, are no longer available, since Ken R. retired from jingle sales and production five years ago. (I'm glad to have what I could get.)
(Yes, long, long ago... the early 1990s, having grown up with a local radio station literally a four-block walk away from my home, I did briefly want to be a disc jockey for a radio station, even going so far as to take radio production classes at my local community college. (I was on the air for the local campus station, but my shows were kind of less-than-par.) Sadly, sweeping changes in the radio industry in the mid-1990s heralded changes in the industry itself, making my dreams somewhat obsolete. - There's always the internet via streaming shows or podcasts, right? ^_^;)