By Ken Deutsch

As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

I use that concept here to reference a jingle company that beginning in 1959 was known as Pepper Sound Studios, then Pepper-Tanner, still later as The William B. Tanner Company, and for a few years after 1984, Media General. Its jingles ran the gamut from silly to spectacular, depending on the era, the composers and whether the jingles were recorded in Memphis or Dallas. (Some of its best products were produced in Dallas from the mid-60s to the mid-70s.)

Referred to here as just "Pepper" for convenience, the company sold, or more properly "traded out," more jingles than all the Dallas companies combined. A trade-out would work like this. A radio station in a small or medium market would agree to air hundreds of commercials for D-Con or one of Pepper’s other advertising clients over the course of a year, in exchange for which the station would receive a customized jingle package. Some of Pepper’s production libraries were also distributed in this manner.

While the company produced several hundred packages (and a dozen libraries) over its years in existence, only a handful were memorable. We present here a few of Pepper’s best, or at least most unusual, jingle packages in demo form. What Pepper lacked in quality it certainly made up for in quantity, and in the 1960s and early 70s its small purple tape boxes were ubiquitous.

Find more about Pepper, Pepper-Tanner, William B. Tanner and Media General here.

Attitude is a unique series for the company because it didn't use their traditional vocal group, and was cut in the late 60s during a time of experimentation with different musical instruments and mixing techniques.

Pepper-Tanner Attitude Demo

Electronik (K) and Logo-Tronic  were both trying to make use of recording tricks and the Moog synthesizer. Very dated, but a good snapshot of the times in which they were produced.

Pepper-Tanner Electronik (K) Demo

Pepper-Tanner Logo-Tronic Demo

KNDE Custom In approximately 1972 the William B. Tanner Company (previously known as Pepper Tanner and later to be known as Media General's Broadcast Division) produced a custom jingle package for KNDE(AM), Sacramento. We believe it's worth posting because of all the packages that company produced Memphis, this is one of the best. Great writing, great recording and mixing, and unlike much of this company's product, this package is not saddled with a corny concept. I say "produced in Memphis" because many of Tanner’s jingles were sung in Dallas throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and those were uniformly good.

Why have you never heard of the KNDE package before? Well, it would have been difficult to syndicate widely unless the purchasing stations were also known as "Candy" or "Rock Candy." In other words, the concept was almost too specific for this one station to translate well to others.

William B. Tanner KNDE Demo

Pure Country reminds me of PAMS' "Jukebox Country," because it's a throwback to a very old timely sound.

Pepper-Tanner Pure Country Demo

Sound of the Day is of note because these are the first jingles ever recorded by Pepper. If you’ll notice in the brief introductory demo narration, the company was actually known as "Pepper Records" at the time. You may also note that these jingles used a different vocal group from most later Pepper packages, and also that these jingles were much better written and sung than anything PAMS was producing in the late 1950s. Shortly after "Sound of the Day" was released, the company changed its name to "Pepper Sound Studios."

Pepper Sound of the Day Demo

Tanner Acapellas A-La-Carte (Dallas Vocals)

Tanner All News All The Time Demo (KTUC)

Tanner Pop Topper Demo

Tanner You And The Music Demo

For more information on PAMS jingles, go to the PAMS Website.
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