Old time commercial jingles

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(Host) Commentator Willem Lange is simultaneously looking forward eagerly to the Super Bowl and nostalgically back to the 1950s – but only in a commercial sense.

(Willem Lange, sining)

Get Wildroot Cream Oil, Charlie;
It keeps your hair in trim.
You see, it’s nonalcoholic, Charlie;
It’s made with soothin’ lanolin…

During the early 1950s, inspired by the stars of the silver screen, who in the most trying situations never suffered a hair of their pompadours to be out of place we common guys would try any potion that would do the same for us. So we all carried combs, and before setting out from home, daubed ourselves with our favorite hair dressing.

Wildroot Cream Oil was my choice, a whitish, perfumed mixture that you decanted into the hollow of one hand and worked into your tresses. Then with the comb, you drew a careful part, combed both ways away from it, flourished a cowlick over one side of the forehead, and combed its long ends back over one ear. It looked sharp, in its day; but when it came loose, it hung in oily tentacles over one eye. And it left a white residue on your comb – cocoanut oil, I think.

What’s got me going on this is anticipation of the Super Bowl, with the commercials I enjoy more than the game. America’s most innovative minds have been at work there. Using digital techniques for suspending the rules of physics, they’ve come up with unforgettable ads. Well, not quite unforgettable. I’m hard put to go back even a couple of years and recall any in detail. But the lyrics of fifty years ago still linger in my memory.

Brylcream – A little dab’ll do ya; use more only if you dare.
But watch out! The gals’ll all pursue ya.
They’ll love to run their fingers through your hair.

I can’t imagine women nowadays being called gals or loving to run their fingers through oily hair. But it was a great lyric; it’s lasted longer than the product. Ivory soap, we were happy to know was “99 and 44 one-hundredths percent pure!” Ralston sponsored my daily fix of Tom Mix, who sang the praises of their cereal:

Start your mornin’ with Hot Ralston, and you surely will agree
It’s a warm-up, buildup breakfast, full of cowboy energy.
It’s delicious and nutritious, full of golden western wheat.
Take a tip from Tom, go and tell your mom, Hot Ralston can’t be beat.

As Martin Luther once ruefully remarked, the Devil had all the best music. Yessir:

You better get Wildroot Cream Oil, Charlie,
Start usin’ it today.
You’ll find that you will have a tough time, Charlie,
Keepin’ all those gals away –
And we’re not foolin’ –
Keepin’ all those gals awaa-aay!

A great jingle; but like many, not entirely accurate. I had no trouble at all keepin’ all the gals away. It was the flies drove me nuts!

This is Willem Lange up in Etna, New Hampshire, and I better get back to work.

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