Jingly Jangly Jingles

dave oyster drums

I write elsewhere about the death of the jingle, and these samples may better explain why it died.

You cannot have listened to the radio in the past, oh, 30 years, and not heard this ditty. Me, bass player Gary Fallwell, and guitar player Chopper spent a whole day at Track Studios in Silver Spring jamming around on various ideas before settling on four notes in a descending pattern repeated over and over. And over. Horns and vocals were added sometime later. Got $25 for the effort. If I’d asked for a five-cent royalty, I’d be rich today. Not a week went by without the Jerry’s Ford jingle playing somewhere. It was syndicated, so I even heard late one night it as I drove into Dallas.

In fact, the jingle was played so much that the master tape wore out. They re-did it with synthesizers some time in the early 2000s. When I heard the new version, I called Jerry himself, looking to get in touch with the original producer, whose name has escaped me. I was going to write an article. When I mentioned that, Jerry got real squirrely and defensive.

“Jerry’s Ford jingle”

I do know the producer’s name for these Blank Pontiac spots: Dan Pasley. Most of my commercial recording work was with Dan, and it was (almost) always a pleasure. Mostly because Dan ran a, shall we say, loose session. Often he’d show up, late, open his briefcase, pull out a bottle, and declare, “Let’s get started.” It was then apparent that whatever we would be recording would be made up on the spot between now and whenever everyone passed out. Good times.

In this session, we cut a bunch of variations on the theme, for the different radio stations. Here’s the WGAY, i.e., white people, version. And this is the WOL downtown black people version. Same damn Pontiacs, of course.

“Blank Pontiac “Wide Tracking” (Smooth)”

“Blank Pontiac “Wide Tracking” (Funky)”

Did a whole bunch of work for the Britches of Georgetown organization thanks to Dan. This is one of my faves, for the chain’s country branch. The Eagles were popular at the time. Guess they still are.

“Britches Western”