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I shouldn’t be surprised that I now have such problematic arthritis in my toes that I’ve needed two surgeries in six years. It began when I was a child. My chiropodist had me wear arch supports in my shoes and walk up and down the hallway of my Detroit house, doing special exercises to try and strengthen my feet.

I, however, wanted to watch TV in the late afternoon. I had already given up practicing piano. Too many distractions. I tried to march up and down that hallway on a regular basis, but dammit, my brother was in the den watching the Mickey Mouse Club Show.

The allure was just too great. I wanted to be in there too, singing along with Jimmy Dodd (wasn’t Roy vaguely creepy?), “M-I-C, “See you real soon”, K-E-Y” WHY? Because we LIKE YOU? M-O-U-S-E.” That was the first great jingle that I remember. The Mouseketeers were our friends and idols. The boys might have fantasized about Annette, but I loved Bobby Burgess. We enjoyed “The Adventures of Spin & Marty”, “Zorro” ((I liked Guy Williams too), Darlene, when she was featured in some adventure; Karen & Cubby. Far too tantalizing for me to do those boring exercises.

Those advertising geniuses on Madison Avenue advertised candy for us youngsters during these TV shows that we so enjoyed and they are embedded in my mind. Here a few that come to mind:

This is a newer version of the twins; the jingle that sticks in my mind is: “Double your pleasure, Double your fun, with double good, double good, Double Mint gun”. I preferred Juicy Fruit.

Good and Plenty

Though I never cared much for the candy, they had a wonderful cartoon and jingle that I can still sing.

“Choo Charley was an engineer…Charley says…love my Good & Plenty, Charley says…really rings my bell”…  Does that ring anyone else’s bell?

Chiquita Banana

This jingle is iconic (I’m Chiquita Banana and I’m here to say…), and Carmen Miranda became the famous Latin dancer associated with and copied for the look (perhaps she was the model for the banana spokes-model; I don’t know who came first). But as I listened to the jingle, I realized that what I remember is a phony take on it. The real one was an infomerical, introducing the fruit to the US market, telling consumers of its benefits, how to let it ripen, store it and its health benefits. The banana was still considered exotic in the early ’50s.

One of the most iconic jingles becomes the source of enlightenment for the ultimate Mad Man, Don Draper in the final episode of the award-winning TV show of a similar name. Coca Cola (a former client; my company did testing for the roll-out of New Coke…no comment) is legendary for its wonderful advertisements. One of its best was:

I’d like to buy the world a home
and furnish it with love.
Grow apple trees and honey bees
and snow white turtle doves.
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.
It’s the real thing…

We could use more harmony and love today, even if I don’t drink soft drinks and when I did, I preferred grape Fanta as a teen and Mountain Dew when I was a stage manager in college, calling a show. I had a pyramid of empties up in my light booth along side my prompt book. I had no idea it was so highly caffeinated. But that reminds me of a great folk song I sang in my youth, sung along side my beloved camp counselor, Grundy, of an earlier Retrospect prompt.

 

Wahoo, it’s mountain dew…
They call it that good ole mountain dew, dew, dew,
And them that refusin’ it are few.
You can hush up my mug, if you’ll fill up my jug
With that good ole mountain dew.

 

(Not advertising for the soft drink, but really fun to sing; it is true – I do not have a whiskey-soaked voice but I did figure out multimedia.)

 

 

 

 

Profile photo of Betsy Pfau Betsy Pfau
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.


Characterizations: funny

Comments

  1. We share a gene for candy preferences. Who was Roy. I do recall a creepy someone singing that song.

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Roy was the heavy-set other adult leader, along with Jimmy. He played a smaller role, but was there, nonetheless. I just looked him up. His name was Roy Williams. He was called “Big Roy” and was on the show for four seasons, but does not appear in my Featured photo. According to his Wikipedia page, the kids on the show really liked him, found him to a warm, pleasant person. He was an animator by profession.

  2. John Shutkin says:

    What a delightful romp through the memory lane of jingles of our youth, Betsy. Some of these I’d forgotten, but all of them I knew and remembered when you referenced them. ( I even remember Roy from the Mickey Mouse Club — he was also an artist and did some quick sketches on the show). And, of course, I highlighted the Coca Cola song in my own story as well.

    As usual, you’ve also included the perfect pictures to jog our collective memories. Just great fun and, somewhat more profoundly, a reminder of how early television served to give all of us a common ground — even if on mindless things — as we were growing up across the US.

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Thank you, John. Yes, we all seem to remember that important Coke song (Suzy references it as well…it became a pop hit). And you are correct. No matter where we grew up, we had these touch stones in common, giving baby boomers these reference points.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    Thanks for a trip down memory lane, Betsy. And yes, Roy was a bit creepy.

  4. Suzy says:

    Betsy, I love, love, love that you sang the Mountain Dew jingle for us! I don’t actually remember it from our youth, but I have now listened to you sing it about five times! Can’t believe that nobody else commented on it, although they may not have heard your voice in person as I have.

    You and John and I all wrote about the Coke song, but I, for one, never drank Coke, did you? And I forgot all about Chiquita banana, so thanks for bringing her back to me. She taught me never to put bananas in the refrigerator!

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Glad you enjoyed my singing, Suzy. No, I was never a cola drinker. My dad enjoyed 7-Up from time to time, so that’s the only soft drink we had around the house (Dan drinks an inordinate amount of Diet Coke; I really don’t like it at all).

      Like you, when I actually listened to the lyrics of the Chiquita banana song I learned a lot…like NOT to put them in the fridge (I never do, but didn’t know why) and the lyrics also talk about the nutrients in them and they are good for babies; lots of good info in that jingle.

    • John Shutkin says:

      Let me just add that I also thought Betsy’s Mountain Dew rendition was superb. I was tempted to punctuate its ending with a very loud “Yee Haw!!”

  5. Great story, Betsy. But you’ve made me thirsty. BTW: thanks for pointing out that it was Roy WILLIAMS; all these years I had thought it was Roy Disney, Walt’s brother. Oh well.

  6. Marian says:

    What a delightful romp for all the senses, Betsy. Besides my sound memory for the jingles, I could taste the Doublemint (I, too like Juicy Fruit). Never drank Mountain Dew and went light on all the sodas, but remember that 7Up was the Uncola?

  7. Haha! What a lot of fun strolling down memory lane with you, Betsy;-)

  8. Wow Betsy that was fun, I don’t think I ever tasted Mountain Dew but I do/dew remember the jingle!

  9. You saved the best for last, Betsy…loved hearing you belt out those lyrics! Like Suzy, I’ve listened at least five times! Now, if I’m not mistaken, that wasn’t actually the jingle for the product but a folk song about moonshine, right? Can you believe I have never tasted Mountain Dew?

    Also, I love that you included the Doublemint ad…my brothers (twins, obviously) did one of those, sure wish I could attach a photo here.

    Thanks for a fun story!

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Absolutely correct, Barb…not a soft drink jingle; a moonshine folk tune! As I mentioned, just fun to sing and the words fit. I think the real Mountain Dew is a small brand, compared to the colas.

      Cool that your brothers did a Double Mint gum ad. I came up with several different versions, but liked the one I used best. It’s funny, Dan used to chew it while he was running all the time and we had packs of it in his night stand drawer, but were looking for something in that drawer about a month ago, so did some cleaning. He stopped chewing gum a couple of years ago so we threw away all that old gum just before this prompt came up! Too bad, I would have had the real thing to show instead of an internet replica.

  10. Risa Nye says:

    Great singing! That’s a first here, isn’t it? I too, was a fan of the Mousketeers. I so wanted to be Karen to my neighbor John’s Cubby… Weren’t they just the cutest? I don’t know what happened to her, but he grew up to be a really nice guy (I saw an interview a few years back that confirmed this.) Your piece was fun to read, so thanks for the memories!

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Thanks, Risa. This was my first time singing, could be the first example. I know Barb has posted sounds, so I knew it could be done. Glad to know that Cubby grew up to be a nice kid. It does one heart’s good to get that affirmation.

  11. Risa Nye says:

    Betsy, here is a post I wrote about Cubby, which has a link to the article I mentioned. http://www.risanye.com/cubby/ It sounds like most of the Mousketeers went on to have interesting, productive and satisfying lives!

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Thanks for posting this link, Risa. I agree. They were so cute and I loved watching that show (as I mentioned – it was so tantalizing that it kept me from doing my foot exercises for which I’m paying dearly now).

  12. Your song about Mountain Dew tempts me to record my own version of Roger Miller’s “Chuggle-ug, Chuggle-ug.” But of course that was a song not a jingle.
    This was fun. I liked how this narrative seemed to bounce from one topic and remembrance to another, making a highly polished work have the look, almost, of a first draft. Good work!

  13. Great line up of Retro recalls, Betsy. I remember Roy. I thought he was Roy Disney, Walt’s brother. Urban myths. Roy had his own jingle, sung by a chorus of Mousekateers while he drew. “Roy, Roy, quick on the draw / You’re my boy, Roy, quick on the draw/ … I looked but couldn’t find the rest of the lyrics.

    Jingles and the ironies of my childhood. “I’m Chiquita banana and I’m here to say… I heard as “I’m Chiquita banana and I’m here to stay” Chiquita was the front chick for United Fruit and they, in concert with the CIA had, in 1954, overthrown the the democratically elected Arbenz government and installed military dictatorship that made sure that Guatemala would stay safe for Chiquita. What a life!

    • Betsy Pfau says:

      Funny about Roy, Chas. Interesting that he had his own jingle. Good that I cleared up the non-Disney relation for all.

      Your misunderstanding of the Chiquita jingle goes along with your own story this week. I knew about United Fruit, but not the back story with the CIA and military overthrow. Why does this not surprise me? I think I’ll never be able to look at my bananas the same way again.

  14. I’m sorry! A banana is one of my favorite treats, United Fruit or no. My bummer response is part of the side-effect of being a red-diaper baby. The coup and its Eisenhower/John Foster Dulles/CIA partnership with United Fruit was a pretty big scandal in 1954-55 even in the mainstream media. I also remember that shortly after the coup, Johnny Shook, a new kid, moved into town. We became pals but his dad was a real spooky, crabby guy. They had lived in Guatemala and they showed up in our home town right after the new dictatorship had settled in. My old man came to pick me up at Johnny’s house one day and after about a five-minute visit in which my dad asked a coupla questions we drove off and my dad said — that guy is CIA. And he was right. But Johnny Shook and me stayed pals anyway.

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