THERE'S ONLY ONE Kenny Everett when it
comes to jingles! His zany tunes can be heard morning, noon and night on Capital
- and they're all his own work.
He has his own studio at his farm, tucked
away in the Cotswolds, and it's there that this jingle maker extraordinaire
comes up with his seemingly endless ideas.
Remember that silly little song
he made that consisted of a lot of hellos? Well, here's Kenny's explanation of
how he made it.
"First, you sidle up to the microphone, then you cue
yourself by saying 'one, two three' and sing the first line of hellos into a
"Then you take a second tape machine and whilst singing a
second set of hellos, you play back the first tape, so you end up with two
voices singing in harmony. Then you add a third voice in a different harmony
until you end up with a whole bunch of harmonies that fit together quite
Kenny reckons that the minimum you can get away with if you want to
make his kind of jingles are two tape machines joined together by wire, a
microphone and a turntable.
He explained: "The sort of equipment I've got
here is just a sophisticated version of the home equipment. The turntables are
special big ones with motors like washing machines so that you can park the
needle where you want and stop the record with the tip of your finger without
anything terrible happening. When you want the music to start, you just let the
record go." Kenny's got quite a few gadgets to help him with some of the weirder
effects he achieves.
"I've got an instant phasing machine which phases my
voice and makes it go all psychedelic. And then there's this twiddly knob called
a varispeed control, that speeds my voice up or slows it down depending on which
way I twiddle it."
Then, of course, there's the echo chamber. "A very
dangerous piece of equipment, that," said Kenny. "Many a good dj has got lost in
an echo chamber by turning it up too much. There's a chance that you might never
Kenny uses a special set of effects for his Captain Kremmen
"They're just silly sound effects that come up at the press of a
button," he explained. "There's one monster sound that I didn't do, I think it
was probably recorded at the zoo. Then there's a modern monster sound that
reminds people of a belch. Which isn't surprising because that's exactly what it
is! It happened when Tommy Vance and I were looning about in the studio. I felt
a burp coming on, so I recorded it. I twiddled with the dials and put the tape
machine into playback, so the sound reverberated."
Then there's that
blood-curdling scream that is featured so often.
"That was easy," said
Kenny, "I just stuffed my wife in the oven!"
The music Kenny uses to
introduce Captain Kremmen sounds like an original 78 record. And again, that's
not surprising, 'cos it is!
"It's called 'Women In Uniform'," said Kenny,
"and it's all authentic stuff with real scratches and crackles. I think it was
made in 1920."
And lastly, there's an even more blood-curdling scream that
Kenny uses quite often.
"Another easy one," said Kenny, "I just took the
wife out of the oven and stuffed her up the mains!" So now you know!
aspect of sound effects is covered by the production team who make the Capital
commercials. Jan Bradshaw heads the team whose job is to co-ordinate and make
the commercial tapes.
"About 5000 of the commercials come in ready taped
from advertising agencies," said Jan, "and we make the rest on behalf of the
advertiser. Clients either send in a script or come in to chat with us and
discuss their ideas. Some will specifically ask for a particular person to do
the voice-over, but we've got a bank of voices we can call on for making
commercials. You'd be surprised the number of times that we use a girl's voice
to sound like a young boy - or vice versa!
"Some clients just want a
straight script, but others often want a special sound effect. Some sound
effects are quite straight forward, like the client who wanted the sound of a
bottle of wine being uncorked. We simply sat in front of the microphone and
uncorked a real bottle of wine. The sound effect was perfect... and so was the
"Another time, a client asked for the sound of 10,000 cartoon-style
feet running, so we got on our hands and knees and scrabbled our finger nails on
a metal waste-paper basket!"