Despite its humble beginnings, the Kars for Kids jingle has embedded itself deeply into American pop culture. Its memorable tune has etched the words ‘1-877 Kars for Kids’ into the minds of millions of radio listeners for almost two decades. The iconic jingle has taken a life of its own with countless spoofs and mentions on national prime time TV shows including Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and The Tonight Show.
Composed by a country music writer and set to lyrics by a talented volunteer, the first version of the Kars for Kids jingle was sung by a child, who, like the song’s writer, shall remain anonymous due to multiple death threats issued against him. Since then, the jingle has been remixed several times and sung by a number of different child and adult vocalists.
Some love it, some profess to hate it and it’s become an art to rail creatively against it, but one thing is certain: all who hear the Kars for Kids jingle remember it. And with all the emotion it evokes, the jingle has been an instrumental tool in enabling the charity behind it to become a venerable force for good nationwide.
First version of the jingle with only a kid singing released on a local NY radio station.
Airs on a local NJ station.
Remastered to the current version with kid and adult singing.
Released on major radio station in NY – WABC.
First airing out of NY area- WBBM and WLS in Chicago.
Jingle hits the west coast airing on multiple California radio stations.
Jingle goes nationwide in 6 prime radio markets on all major networks.
Chicago tribune does feature story on everyone’s favorite jingle.
Create your own jingle contest launched with dozens of amateur musicians from all over the country submitting their original versions.
Don Imus is heard on air ranting about the jingle during a commercial break, later apologizes to Kars4Kids, and lauds the charity’s great work.
Heavy metal remix.
The jingle first plays on TV, with a cute cast of kids.
Kars4Kids has fun with a mention in Saturday Night Live’s Cold Open following news of the CIA’s infamous “torture report”.
Trevor Noah spoofs the Kars4Kids TV ad on The Daily Show. Kars4Kids responds quickly. www.Guns4Kids.com
Jingle Fever Game is launched.