Friday, June 24, 2016

73. Radio Jingles in the Forties

In our last post about growing up in Gettysburg in the Forties, Nancy and I  mentioned that radio was one of our most popular forms of entertainment when we were teenagers.. Singing commercials, or jingles as we called them, were a significant part of radio at that time.

The singing commercial can be traced back to before World War II, and our earliest recollection of jingles coincides with that fact. The very first singing commercial on the radio we remember was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola about 1939. Here are the lyrics to that popular jingle:
 Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, twelve full ounces that's a lot.
 Twice as much for a nickel too. Pepsi-Cola is the drink for you.
The message in the jingle was almost true. The familiar, contoured Coke bottle was 6.5 ounces, but the slight discrepancy didn't hinder new Pepsi drinkers who quickly increased the latter’s share of the market as a result of the jingle. It took Coke sixteen years to respond to Pepsi's challenge before introducing a larger size bottle.

Many of the early radio ads were based on popular folk songs, such as the Camel cigarette jingle which was sung to the tune of Eating Goober Peas.
Rich, rich, mild, mild, Camel cigarettes
Rich, rich, rich with flavor, Camel cigarettes.
Now let us report on the 1946 season of the Gettysburg High School  football team whose victory over York Catholic broke a twelve game losing streak that began two years earlier. Unfortunately, the team lost to Carlisle in the game that followed, but in our next post we will have news about a  surprising and stunning victory over a traditional rival.

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