Phillips: TV commercials | Chroniclers


I should have been careful.

A 1940s Ink Spot hit featured the wonderful tenor, Bill Kenny, in “Whispering grass”. It served as the backdrop for an automobile advertisement.

The ads have working titles that we never see. “It’s up to you,” is the title of a collaborative COVID TV spot with a singer delivering “I’ll see you”.

It sounds like a Doris Day recording but lacks the quality of presence that was available in the 1950s. I found out that she had never had a commercial recording of the song.

Its phrasing and approach reminds me of Billie Holiday and Miss Billie has had several recordings of this song and wins by default.

The Scottish band Pilot had a 1970s hit, “Magic”.

The producers turned “Whoa, Oh, Oh, it’s magic” into “Whoa, Oh, Oh Ozempic” for the diabetes drug. He’s still on the move.

Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” was picked up by a studio group for the COPD drug Anora. He’s still on the move.

United Airlines racked up mileage for George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.

For a while, the world loved the California Raisins’ delivery of “Heard it Through the Grape Vine” by Marvin Gaye. It wasn’t Marvin’s voice but Buddy Miles’ voice singing.

The characters were everywhere with characters derived from claymation and TV specials, but the production cost twice as much as the raisin producers. It was scrapped.

In a Sansbury (UK) grocery ad “A Christmas to Savor” (or “savor” here), a 1960s recording of Etta James’ “At Last” plays in the background. The cast are frozen as the song plays and the spot ends with, “It’s been a long time coming so let’s make it a Christmas to savor.”

Nothing wrong with Etta James’ version but they could have used the original sung by Ray Eberle with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

An ad currently running shows the Lincoln Electric Aviator arriving in a housing estate that could be Palm Springs, California, with distant mountains and palm-lined streets.

The yard is covered in snow from a snow machine with the song “This is a most unusual day”.

It was sung by Beverly Kenny, a jazz singer who never found the niche she wanted and deserved even though she was a popular jazz club singer recognized for her recordings.

She never got to where she wanted to be and ended her search for that place in 1960.

Some songs bring back memories. It’s nice to hear them again.

About Shelley Hales

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