Sound Advice: Search is on for 45 behind catchy ‘Jingle’

By  Tim Neely

I’d like to ask you about a record I had when I was a kid. There was a very popular toy in the early 1960s, very likely made by Wham-O (the Frisbee people). It was called The Jingle Hop, and each one came with a free 45 of the song used on the Jingle Hop commercials. 

Well, mom threw out the record a few years after I got it, and I’ve been looking for a copy ever since. From what I can remember, it was sung by a girl group and was very possibly on a green-and-yellow label. I want to say it’s on the Raynard label, but I’m not sure of that.

Any clue as to what and who it was, and how much it might be worth?

— Dale McQuaid via e-mail

Answer: The toy in question was called “Jingle Jump.” Manufactured by a company called Jak-Pak, it consisted of a hollow yellow or blue ball with a jingle-bell inside it, attached to a red cord, which was attached to a blue plastic bed in which you placed the heel of your shoe. A yellow adjustable strap then went around your foot and hooked onto the blue support. Your mission, then, was to twirl it around and jump every time the rope came by.

I may or may not have actually used one when I was a kid in the 1960s, but I sure do remember them. I think similar toys with different names are still around today.

For a time in 1964, as a promotion, every “Jingle Jump” came with a record with a picture sleeve, which was also called “Jingle Jump.” It wasn’t by a girl group, but it was by a Milwaukee-based band called Danny Peil and The Apollos. You remembered correctly that it was on the Raynard label (#602), which is green and yellow. The flip side of the actual 45 was called “Flip Side” and was credited solely to The Apollos. Just to make life more interesting, this same record exists with the same two songs, but with the A-side credited to “Danny Peil and the Tigers” and the B-side to “The Tigers.” I don’t know which came first, but they seem to be equally available.

“Jingle Jump” is a nice, short (under two minutes long) rocker, reminiscent in style to Johnny Rivers’ version of “Memphis.”  It’s appeared on an Ace (U.K.) CD compiling songs from the Wisconsin 1960s rock scene. Peil later joined a band called The Corporation, which is no relation to The Corporation that produced the Jackson Five’s early records. The group released a self-titled album on Capitol that got to #197 on the Billboard LP chart. They also issued two more albums on the Wisconsin-based Age Of Aquarius label, and those are extremely rare today. The picture sleeve, by today’s standards, is politically incorrect, featuring a drawing of a cave man with a club — and a Jingle Jump around his right foot — bonking the head of a smiling cave woman, who also has a Jingle Jump toy on her foot.

The sleeve advertises it as “Jingle Jump — Loud Smash Hit Record” with the tag line “It’s Brutal!” The sleeve credited the song to “The Jingle Jumpers,” but it came with the Peil disc. The reverse side of the sleeve has a kangaroo and a frog, both wearing the Jingle Jump.

Because of the title of the song, it’s sometimes mistakenly identified as a Christmas song, but it has nothing whatsoever, even tangentially, to do with the holiday season.

A near-mint copy of either The Apollos’ or Tigers’ version of “Jingle Jump” goes for about $15; many copies in lesser, but still playable, condition are out there for much less. The picture sleeve is considerably rarer, with a $25-$50 price tag in near-mint shape for the sleeve alone.

I have a copy of The Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace album, Mercury MG-20402 (mono), as a white-label promo. On the label and back of the cover is stamped our old radio station, KHVH Radio. How much might it be worth? 

— John J. Matusovic Jr., Honolulu

Obviously, condition will play a big role in its value. But in 2007, a white-label promo in VG+ condition with the words “Promotional Copy Only Not For Sale” stamped on the cover sold for almost $335 at auction.

In the same auction, a mono black-label stock copy that was advertised in better condition sold for even more (almost $375), which shows you how important condition is.

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