BENS
The BENS Numbered Jingles Series

BENS was one of the original jingle production companies creating commercial and radio IDs for stations around the world. The BENS company dates back to the early 1950s.

After failing as a Merseybeat tribute band (the group was way ahead of its time) Ben Baxter founded BENS - which stands for 'BEN (Baxter's Production Advertising Merchandising) Service' (sounds rubbish now, but made sense at the time).

Other BENS staffers included Fuel Fox who was a writer and arranger for BENS in the 1960s and later famous for a jazz hit "Flaked Out with Crunchy Whiskers" and Stella Fart whose windy vocals were heard on many BENS packages over the decades.

There were many custom packages produced and a total of 49 numbered series were made. Covers were designed for many of the demo boxes sent out to radio stations.

THE BENS NUMBERED SERIES
 
Series #
Name
Year
Remarks
1
 

 1956

The start of BENS began back in 1955 when Ben Baxter hummed a tune while working in a recording studio emptying the bins. It was used for the next 46 years as the advertising jingle for McBrannagan's Pasties. The initial royalty payments were used to start up BENS.
2
Start

 1957

An indescribable package that was a major flop for BENS, mainly due to the lack of any demo being produced.
3
Musicology

1957

This could have been a big hit for BENS, but someone recorded over the master tape with a V/O session for tinned soup.
4
Ready to go!

 1957

A series of jazz inspired jingles. Not such a wise move for BENS, as there were only 2 jazz stations broadcasting at the time. The other station didn't like them.
5
Sauce-tasty-tastic
Keinz were BENS first big commercial client, and a range of commercial jingles were made for their newest range of sauces. They were re-sung for many other clients, and became inexplicably popular with furniture companies.
6
 

 1958

Generic package that only needed a ukulele to customize it for a station.
7
Mojo a go-go

 1958

Pop with jazz influences. Although the concept seemed to fit in with many of the wacky hybrid packages being made around the time, this was...too wacky.
8
Candenza

 1958

A package using full concert orchestra. Sadly, someone forgot to actually record the tracks to tape, so the package was only ever performed once - live.
9
The Cartridge Series

 1958

The first 8-track recording method utilized 8 separate cartridge recorders recording one mono track each, which were then played back simultaneously. The success of the re-sings depended heavily on all 4 studio engineers pressing 'play' at the same time, which wasn't easy, as many of them were drunks and one had no arms.
10
Style Us

 1959

Using speeded up instruments and strange sound effects, this elaborate package was indeed stylish and was one of the biggest sellers for '59.
11
Chicken and Egg

 1959

Which came first? BENS did! This series was terrible.
12
Dial Volume

 1959

'BENS Loud Technology™' was applied to singers and instruments to make this series of jingles appear louder on the air than everything else. Originally recorded for K-TITS 66.
13
Telephone Tunes

 1959

A series of jingles for request shows, whose tracks each became louder and more frantic to drown out the caller and segue into music.
14
Boss Summer

 1960

The boss jocks played more BENS jingles! A package containing many acapellas and big horns.
15
Innovox

 1960

Innovative sounds were created by making the singers perform into trash cans with microphones at the bottom. Sadly, most of the words were inaudible and the package was promptly canned itself!
15A
Fantastic

 1960

Programme controller Bob Rendell wanted to make the listeners the stars of the station KLIT. The package consisted of talk-up ramps that had generic vox-pops of 'listeners' saying why they liked the station. In reality, the 'listeners' were the BENS studios cleaners, including 'Bucky', an alcoholic Tourette's sufferer who only had 3 teeth.
16
Magnetron

 1961

'...acts like a magnet for your listeners' so the demo told us. The melody line was catchy, but hard to customize for stations.
16A
Kanns

 1961

An odd package with Swiss influences after BENS' creative director's recent skiing holiday.
17
Rack of Gold

 1961

Oldies radio had arrived. Before its time. Many ideas were recycled in later series with different orchestration.
18
Split News

 1961

Some very brassy news beds for the new news station, KNEWS 'Newsy News' (99 for news).
19
For You and Yours

 1962

Jodie Tigers was on-board and made his first big impression as a composer with this package.
20
Monitor '62

 1962

A continuation of the 'music monitor' logo from '61, recorded originally for WANK.
21
Mix-a-pellas

 1962

Esentially a mix of shotguns and acapellas that were designed to mould into the start of songs.
22
Digitronics

 1962

The slogan 'Coming up strong from behind' was short-lived when the PD's wife complained! Originally recorded for KOCK.
23
Heavy Gold

 1962

Rock package with the big 7 voice group sound. Stella Fart soloed on several cuts.
24
Tower of Power

 1962

K-EAR FM ordered so many re-dos that this package sounded dated when the demo was eventually released.
25
Spectrum

 1963

With the then talk of futuristic computers in everyone's home resounding across the country, the Spectrum package was created and included lots of odd 'computer generated' noises (actually performed by Blackie Titmouse on a kazoo).
25D
Rack o' Trax

 1963

A new 8 track studio had been created for BENS, and this series used it, adding a special sound effect they called a 'twiszle'.
26
Tip Top

 1963

The cream of the crop, this was Tip Top. Critics described this package as 'directionless', 'out of tune' and 'a load of old cobblers'. Others, however, were less kind.
26D
Charge up

 1964

The 'D' stood for battery company Duracull, who were sponsoring the entirity of KTOP's output at the time. The sponsorship deal helped pay for another package from BENS.
27
Get Set

 1964

A starting pistol was used to create an interesting realistic effect but caused several accidents in markets where the package aired, as vehicle drivers listening to the radio ducked for cover.
28
Quality Cume
 1964
A classy package for Canadian station CRAP's then new MOR format.
29
Listen to us
 1965
A strange package recorded for Crunchy Radio's Happy Fun-Time Breakfast Club in Europe.
30
No Flipping
 1965
A 'house band' set of IDs influenced by the early days of showtime radio.
30U
Lovin'
 1965
While John and Yoko were having a bed-in (4 years in the future), BENS created Lovin', a soft hits package for a syndicated radio show. No-one knows what the 'U' stood for.
31
You're right on time
 1966
Party style 'grid' jingles for new year celebrations that were only intended for a week's on air use.
32
We Like That
 1966
Beautiful music formats weren't deprived of BENS jingles, and in '66 this huge package of 59 cuts was produced for the massive WARSE in Buttockville.
33
It's Always Kewl
 1967
Early 'grunge' style package for more alternative stations. Cut 18 was a sports bed to introduce results and was so brash that many stations who aired it received complaints.
34
Light Rays
 1967
Recorded in the dark to inspire the session musicians, the instrumental mix-outs revealed a few bum notes that went unnoticed during the recording sessions.
35
Drive In
 1968
Mysteriously, the artwork for this series featured the number '49' which was also the number of the last series that BENS ever made.
36
Suck My Hits
 1969
The Germans always wanted something a bit wacky, and BENS always obliged.
37
Yoko Homo
 1969
A spelling mistake on the demo script and packaging made this series strangely popular with 'alternative' stations in San Francisco.
38
Rocket Radio
 1969
As man walked on the moon for the first time, the BENS singers were singing about "one giant station" and "the stepper jocks".
39
Freshwater Revival
 1970
Rock series. The package first aired on K-ROTCH in Denver and was a marked change to the traditional BENS sound.
40
The Colored Caravette
 1970
The concept was that a psychedelic caravette would drive through each jingle, adding a party-like atmosphere. In reality, it sounded a bit like a tractor and only a couple of farming information stations ever syndicated the package.
41
Music Radio 24 Custom
 1971
Available in two versions, either the "G" singers or the "C" singers, named after the quality of their singing ('good' and 'crap').
42
Yellow
 1971
The Beatles were supposedly influenced by this package when they recorded their 'White' Album. But of course BENS would have needed to have invented a time machine, as this series was released three years after the Beatles released that album.
43
Request-a-thon!
 1972
Originally this package was called "Big 50" because listenership increased by 50% on the first station that used this package. It was later re-named "Big 43", "Large 20" and "It's 6" before the less number-specific title it eventually ended up with.
44
Things are Great
 1973
But they weren't. The company was in financial trouble and needed help.
45
It's gonna be alright
 1975
But it wasn't. After a barter agreement with Mafia FM turned sour, BENS was up the duff without kneecaps.
46
This had better work
 1976
One of the final attempts at creating a new direction for BENS. All tracks were performed backwards and the tape reversed. It was awful.
47
Oh Christ what are we going to do now?
 1976
BENS was starting to get desperate and were using instrumental records and master copies of jingles from other companies including Salt Banner, EM Productions, JEM, Country 21, Gwomsound and a strange company called PLAMS.
48
We're in the shit
 1977
Yes. Yes they were. This package didn't help matters either.
49
Phuck it
 1977
Created for Ladyboy Radio in Thailand, this package sold very well, but it couldn't save BENS. The company suspended operations in May of this year.

Top


This photo of the BENS singers was sent out to clients in 1970.
They hadn't got their act together in time for a Christmas card,
so the message only referred to the new year.

This site is in no way related to PAMS of Dallas and their Numbered Series list. Certainly not! Page by Ben Baxter
Many kind thanks to Pete Wilson for having the actual PAMS singers sing the "BENS of Dallas" jingle you hear on this page!
Comments appreciated.