Note from Jon Wolfert, JAM on Its 40th Anniversary
November 22, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of JAM Creative Productions, Inc. JAM has specialized in making ID jingles for radio stations since its inception, and has operated under its original name, ownership and creative direction longer than any other company of its type in the history of broadcasting.
Jonathan and Mary Lyn Wolfert founded the company in 1974 and continue to own the business and operate it on a daily basis. (The name JAM is an acronym for “Jon And Mary Lyn”). Although the couple started by working out of their apartment, the business quickly grew into a suite of offices, then a studio, and ultimately a custom building with offices and two spacious recording studios.
During the past 40 years JAM jingles have been used by legendary stations around the world. Jon Wolfert says, “All of our clients are important to us, and it’s difficult to pick favorites. But, as someone who grew up in New York, I’m amazed that a young couple who heard our work on WABC in the mid-70s could have had children who heard us on Z-100 in the 80s, and grandkids who are hearing us on WCBS-FM and WFAN today.
We’re constantly adapting to keep things fresh, but we don’t lose sight of what works when it comes to creating a station’s image. That’s one reason why all of those different generations often remember, and can probably sing the names of, the stations they grew up with.”
There are thousands of other stations who have used JAM jingles. In addition, JAM has also created themes for dozens of syndicated shows ranging from AT-40 to the brand new Scott Shannon show “America’s Greatest Hits”. We’ve done work for TV networks, movies and over 23,000 jingle packages for stations of every format located all over the world. And yes, we have copies of them all… it’s the ultimate jingle collection!
The quality has remained consistent because most key production and sales personnel have been with JAM since the ‘70s or ‘80s. That includes Randy Bell, Mark Holland, Brian Hamilton and Cary Bass. There are also singers, musicians and writers who have been along for the entire ride, and others who have come to JAM more recently.
Wolfert says “We know more about jingles than anyone, and we know our own history.
So JAM takes pride in being able to guide clients to the best jingles for their needs from our huge library. For example, it might be a recent package like ‘New & Now’ for a bright A-C, or a legendary sound from the 80s like ‘The Flame Thrower’ for a Classic Hits format. But whatever we do, it has the full sound that comes from using highly talented vocalists and live musicians- not just computers with plug-ins.“
Getting into jingle production was something Wolfert always wanted to do. Jon says, “I’ve been interested in radio, music and production since I was a kid, and got hooked on radio jingles early on because they combine all of those.” He moved to Dallas in 1971 when he was hired at the legendary PAMS Productions. “It was great to work for a place I had long admired and be able to learn from some of the best. But after a few
years I wanted to do things my own way, and I left to start JAM.” It came full circle in 1990 when JAM bought what remained of PAMS, which included the copyrights and original master tapes. The PAMS packages are still in demand today, particularly by stations playing music from the 60s and 70s. For example, the “decades channels” on SiriusXM Satellite Radio use era-appropriate jingles from PAMS and JAM.
Wolfert has been asked whether he thought that JAM would make it to the 40-year mark when the company began. Jon says, “We never really thought about that. We’ve always been too busy dealing with one project, and one deadline, at a time. The funny thing is that when some new clients hear about our amazing history they expect me to be 103 years old. When we started JAM I was only 22. You can do the math.”
JAM appreciates the congratulatory messages we’ve been receiving.
– from JAM, still the world’s leader in radio jingles.