I was born too late, but I would have loved to have done the voice-overs for the old newsreels. You know the kind of thing: we see grainy footage of Lancaster bombers taking off, while a slightly posh, nasal, monotone voice intones “The brave boys of the RAF take to the air, off to give Jerry a packet. You won’t be getting much sleep tonight, Mr Hitler!”
Sometimes these soundtracks turn up on disc, and this is one of them. It is the voice-over which was played to accompany a six-minute film promoting a brand of butter, Western Star, in about 1962. Western Star was then, and is still, an iconic brand in this part of the world.
The butter, I’m happy to say, is genuinely excellent. Sadly, I can’t eat butter any more – cholesterol issues, weight, all that drab stuff which comes with middle age. But tell you what, listening to this makes me want to rush out and buy a pound of “flavoursome creamy goodness” and whip up a sponge cake.
Artist: Western District Co-operative Co. Ltd.
LP Title: Western Star Butter
Format: 12” acetate LP, 33⅓ rpm, mono
Label: Audio Visual Australia
Manufactured in: Australia
Year: c. 1962
Many of the records featured on this blog are for sale via Discogs
It is hard to make a living in music. Most musicians do it for love, and either earn nothing or have a day job. So whenever people are payed to play and sing, that is a good thing. If it is playing at birthday parties, playing favorites-and-requests at a country pub, creating a soundtrack for a video game, recording an advertising jingle – whatever. If a creative soul performs and gets some cash for it, then the world is a better place. Many a poet has paid the bills writing advertising copy; this is no different.
What’s more, there can be fun and genuine creativity in the most unlikely places. The MOST unlikely places.
In 1962, Dunlop launched a new brand of truck tyres. There was a big advertising campaign, including print ads and this radio jingle. It’s a bit twee, there is no getting around it, but a good enough ad.
Radio ads were, in those days, distributed on vinyl records. They were never released for purchase, but they sometimes turn up second hand. These records usually have an identical tracks on each side, or sometimes the “B” side was just left blank. But at Planet Vinyl we love nothing more that the Weird and Unexpected, and what is on the flip side of the Dunlop jingle takes W&U to a new level.
It is 1962. You are a country musician, making a living working the RSL circuit in western New South Wales. Then you are offered a commission, for decent money. An advertising jingle – fine, you’ve done plenty of those – but Dunlop also wants you to write and record a full-length song, which will a/ explain why the new tyre is so good, and b/ motivate the Dunlop sales force.
But here is a great truth. Give creative people a theme and a deadline, and just let them be, and they will almost always come up with something unexpected, and unexpectedly good.
And that is what this unknown group of musicians did here. They wrote, and performed, very well, a song about … truck tyres.
It’s a ripper! You will learn about tyre technology! You will find yourself singing the chorus! You will want to get out there and sell truck tyres!
Title: Dunlop Autocool Jingle
Tracks: Side A “Dunlop Autocool Jingle”, Side B “Dunlop Autocool Tyres (Internal)
Format: 7”, 45 rpm
Label: W&G No catalogue number
Manufactured in: Australia
This record is one of hundreds I have for sale via Discogs