Vixen’s Stuart Cocker has been a jingle collector for forty years, so it seemed natural to set him the task of finding some, for the launch of East Yorkshire’s newest radio station. When the station was granted the Ofcom licence on 20 December 2007 to provide a community station, the expected frequency was 90.0 MHz. A review of available recordings was started although in a non-hurried way. It would be about a year before a final decision was likely to be made. More importantly, Vixen Broadcasting Ltd. the registered name of the radio station was still looking for suitable premises!
On the first Sunday in August 2008 at a Houghton Hall polo match, at which Vixen was providing the public address system, it seemed a suitable opportunity for the Directors to meet to discussion of the ‘on-air’ name for Vixen. Various suggestions were made. Stuart chipped in to say that singing ‘Vixen Ninety’ didn’t give much scope for some of those super jingles that were singing in his mind after listening to hundreds of them! Julian Watson, our Engineer suggested: ‘How about Vixen Nine hundred? It’ll look like that on car sets, 90.0 ignoring the decimal point.’ A consensus: VIXEN 9OO. We still had to await final frequency confirmation from Ofcom during the Autumn.
There are many production companies in the UK, Europe and USA making Jingles for radio, television and advertising campaigns. The USA had the most experience in this since the 1950s. when PAMS became the leading company based in Dallas. Many others followed, but by 1979 PAMS was dissolved. Their famed address at 4141 Office Parkway, Dallas from 1962 eventually became the studios of Thompson Creative Inc.
Stuart meanwhile had been searching through vast quantities of audio and selecting items for re-recording with the ‘Vixen’ name. Thompson Creative had the most suitable items that would fit with Vixen’s programme format and image. On 17 August Larry Thompson in Dallas was approached to make our jingles and he agreed, but understood we were awaiting frequency confirmation. A listening session was scheduled for 2 September in the newly constructed Vixen Studio 2 with Station Manager, Paul Stellings and a range of 6 ‘demonstration packages’ were considered. A ‘demonstration package’[demo for short] is a collection of jingles that have been commissioned to Producers, by a radio station. Later the jingles are made available for others to have the lyrics re-sung with their own name and frequency.
On 19 September Ofcom announced that the proposed 90.0 had failed their clearance procedures and a new channel had to be found. So 90.0 jingle planning was ended and then a few weeks delay before our 101.8 allocation. Then there was a further wait until 7 November and ‘I am pleased to confirm the frequency’ e-mail. Back to our listening and 4 more demos, were added to the list. Larry was advised that we were nearly ready to choose the items for recording.
On 3 December, Stuart and Paul were back in the Studio selecting the words to fit the music tracks for Vixen 1O1 and their final choice was e-mailed to Dallas, for recording the following week. Following the mixouts and Federal Express Airfreight, the CD master arrived on 23 December. The results are sung masterpieces. Perfect regional pronunciation of Yorkshire, Wolds and Vixen from those Dallas singers!