Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Whale of a Wales Tale

Two Winters ago, or was it three, I went totally crazy nuts over a 30 second TV commercial for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle plowed merrily through deep snow in the mountains, accompanied by a grandly appealing 1940s style big band boy singer. I can still hear him in my head as I type the words.

The snow may fall but I don't mind at all
Because you keep me Winter warm.
It's cold and wet but I don't get upset...
With you I'm always Winter warm.

I put the You Tube of that commercial in my favorite places so I could go to it whenever I needed a fix, which was several times a day, playing it over and over. Somehow, after hours of searching, I found the entire song, only 30 seconds of it used in the commercial. I don't know if i-tunes has the entire song. That's not where I got it. I put it on an audio tape and drove the family nuts with it. I was not alone in my obsession. People were calling their Jeep dealers and joining online groups, trying to learn the identity of that singer. Some said he reminded them of Vic Damone. I was closer to those who thought he sounded like Eddie Fisher. It wasn't hard to find the agency that produced the commercial but they had no interest in supplying the name of the performer.

My hearing is pretty well shot but I still have a good ear for accents and I was convinced that the fellow was from someplace in the United Kingdom. How right I was. A day or so ago I decided to google "Jeep Winter Warm commercial" and this website popped up. It does include a You Tube of the commercial. Jeff Hooper is his name. He's from Wales, apparently a big cabaret star. You know he's some kind of a Brit, as his website calls the video an advert. They don't call 'em commercials over there. It looks like he performs the Jeep song at his concerts.

So the mystery is solved and Jeff Hooper is now even more internationally famous than the website says he is. If internationally fanmous Welsh blogger Harry Heuser will put me up at his new old Victorian home in Aberystwyth, I'm on my way to Wales. Dont ask me how to pronounce it.
Other blogs:
Farting Around
Gooofy Church Stuff

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Radio Child

Should I become so enamored of my own timeless prose that I decide to further clutter the internet with a fourth blog, I will steal my title from Brent McKee. He's a Canadian. He lives in Saskatoon. What a grand name for a city. I wonder if Canadian comedy writers have used city names as effectively as Jack Benny's writers did with Anaheim, Azusa and especially the town with a wacky sounding name, Cucamonga. While searching for the correct spelling of Cucamonga I found this song about those three towns made famous by Benny's writers. When I was in Havre, Montana I listened to Canadian radio weather reports for Flin Flon, Moose Jaw and Saskatoon. There are lots of songs about Saskatoon. I'll bet Brent knows my favourite. (I put the "U" in there for my vast Canadian readership.)

What a de-light when I think of the night that I met you on, in
Sas-ka-toon, SAS-KATCH-E-WAN;
Oh, what a thrill was the spill down the hill I upset you on, in
Swift as the breeze was the race on the skiis I would bet you on - in
Sas-ka-toon, SAS-KATCH-E-WAN;
I'd walk a-head while you rode on the sled that I'd fetch you on, in

Heavenly days, what wonderful rhymes. And all dreamed up by three American songsmiths, Irving Ceasar, Gerald Marks and Sammy Lerner.

Oops, I got all caught up in that and forgot where I was going with this. Brent's blog is "I am a child of television." I recommend it. It's here.

My blog number four will be "I am a child of radio." Of course. What else?
I read almost no fiction and I know next to nothing of the great classics that everyone should be acquainted with. I love Harry Heuser's highly literate blog. Broadcastellan. I don't always know what he's talking about but I sure love the way he says it.

I don't read fiction becauase I have little patience with the stuff without which it wouldn't be fiction.. I skip right past the description, characterization, scene setting, situations and all that adds up to the author's style. Give me dialogue. I want to hear voices. Give me a Hammond Organ barking and biting transitions and scene settings as only a tone-wheel Hammond can do. I don't want somebody drawing word pictures for me. I am quite capable of doing that for myself in my head, thank you. William Conrad's voice gives me a perfect mental picture of a marshal in the old west. John Todd, no more Indian than I am, was the ideal "Tonto" to the Lone Ranger on radio.

So I'm ignorant of stuff I should know about. I was raised on radio. It's radio's fault.