| Standing Ovation |

Say Cheese!    

The jingle genre wasn’t lost on Jewish marketers, and in the 70s and 80s, Jewish jingles started becoming popular

Growing up and listening to the radio, the tracks that were always in the background were the advertising jingles. The idea of a jingle is that it can get stuck in your head forever, and it doesn’t matter what they’re selling — it could be anything from mattresses to nasal spray.

Some of those jingles from my childhood seem to have settled permanently in the crevices of my brain, such as the famous Alka Seltzer commercial — “Plop, plop, fizz fizz, oh, what a relief it is,” Folgers Coffee — “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” Band-Aids — ‘’I am stuck on Band-Aids, cuz Band-Aid’s stuck on me,” and the unforgettable “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony / I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company….” Even insurance companies had a jingle — “And like a good neighbor, State Farm is there….”

The jingle genre wasn’t lost on Jewish marketers, and in the 70s and 80s, Jewish jingles started becoming popular — you could always hear them on the Art Raymond radio show on WEVD. The king of Jewish jingles was Martin Davidson (of Rechnitzer Rejects fame). His classic jingle for Haolam cheese, with the chorus, “When you’re trying to please, the whole world agrees, smile and say ‘cheese,’ with Haolam!” got constant airplay. And the famous Schmerling Chocolate ad he wrote, which got on our nerves at the time, today conjures up sweet memories. It went something like, “Schmerling, Schmerling, chocolate, chocolate — thank you for this present from the Swiss.”

Now, I know I’m dating myself here, but I can’t resist mentioning those classic WEVD “Yinglish” ads, such as “Iz ess kosher, iIz ess parve, far der gantzeh Mishpucha, Del Monte prune Juice,” and, “S’iz gut far de koiach, far der moiach un der boiach (stomach),” for Carnation evaporated “milich.”

Dov Shurin and Uncle Leibish used to have a radio program every Motzaei Shabbos and their number-one sponsor was Quality Carpet. When they first opened, Quality was located on Coney Island Avenue and Cortelyou Road, which at that time was considered really out in the boondocks. So, Dov Shurin came out with a jingle to the tune of “Those Were the Days,” and it went: “814-814 Coney Island Avenue, between Cortelyou and Ditmas Road.” That simple phrase stuck so securely in people’s minds that if anyone mentioned Quality Carpet, they knew exactly where it was located.

Nachum Segal’s morning show never had advertising, but his evening show was famous for his Traveler’s Choice ad, also written by Dov Shurin, which kept repeating the phone number for your travel needs.

Yossi Tov also wrote many great jingles for his radio station, the Country Yossi show. I’ll never forget the Ach Tov restaurant song — “Ach Tov is the best, forget about the rest…” which listed off about 30 different items  from their menu, and his famous, “Paszkez, Paszkez… so nosh a little Paszkez every day!” which became a kids’ favorite.

One of my favorite ads was Jerry Markowitz’s creation for the LaVista Hotel — “La la la Vista, La la la Vista, La la la Vista Country Hotel.” Leo Zucker, the owner of La Vista, told me that when people called the hotel, they asked to be put on hold because they enjoyed listening to the jingle so much.

But there’s no exclusive Jewish radio station today, and the jingle genre has basically petered out. Still, there is one Jewish ad that gets played all over America on various programs, so everybody, sing it with me: “1877 Kars 4 Kids, K, A, R, S, Kars 4 Kids… Donate your car today!” This ad raises money for the great work of Oorah. Now, people always ask me who composed that song, and I really haven’t got a perfect answer to that. But it sure sounds a lot like Country Yossi’s “It’s Gonna Be the Little Kinderlach.”

If there will ever be a Jewish radio station return, I’ve already saved Mishpacha Magazine some time and money and have composed a jingle for them, to the tune of Shmuely Unger’s song, “Mach a Brachah”:

Our Mishpacha, Our Mishpacha,

Always brings us simchah, always brings us simchah, Mishpacha’s there for you…

Our Mishpacha, our Mishpacha,

On every occasion, enjoy Standing Ovation, and the Kichels too….


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 957)

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