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Writers Get No Love (even in death)
The death of two guys heavily involved in TV commercials.
I don't know when I started reading obituaries. Sometime in my 30s, knowing that I could be one of the dudes listed there. Or, maybe it was the time I was glancing over them, and saw a friend I went to school with.
Last week, I couldn't believe the length of Dick Wilson's obituary, and the amount of press he got on the news. Who is Dick Wilson? Maybe you know him better by the name Mr. Whipple, who told us not to squeeze the Charmin, in over 500 commercials.
Maybe this will explain a little about why the writers in Hollywood get so upset.
This guy played a grocer in a commercial, and he had a small part in Hogan's Heroes.
Yet, when a commercial writer died, nobody made a big deal, and just a small obit was written on him.
It was Thomas Dawes. And, unlike Mr. Whipple, who was in his 90s, Dawes was only 64.
He co-founded the group The Cyrkle, which was a folk-pop band best known for its hit Red Rubber Ball. In the mid 60s they opened for the Beatles on their final U.S. tour and released their second single, "Turn Down Day." It wasn't the only Beatles connection. The band was originally called The Rhondells. They were discovered by a lawyer that was partners with Beatle manager Brian Epstein, and it was Lennon that suggested the band name "Cyrkle" and the distinct spelling (of course, The Beatles, with that spelling, is still a cooler name).
In the mid 70s, Dawes worked for Foghat (Slowride, I Just Wanna Make Love to You, Fool for the City).
The New York native wrote a book on music and lyrics called "Talk of the Town" which is a great read. But he is probably best known for his commercials. He wrote songs that companies dream of: they stay in your head months and years, after the commercial stops airing. He wrote "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is," for Alka Seltzer. Less popular, but catchy, were his McDonald's catchphrase "You, You're the One," and American Airlines "Something Special in the Air," and for Coke -- "Coke is It."
And how did he meet his wife? She was a competitor in the jingle business (and they collaborated on a few). He also wrote "7Up, the Uncola" and "Our L'eggs Fit Your Legs" and an American Airlines tagline about "We're American Airlines, Doing What We Do Best."
It seems, doing commecials, is what he did best.
More like this:
- How the world got to be the way it is — May 17, 2017
- Dig a Hole: Dick Beals, Escondido Resident and Voice of Ralph Phillips, Gumby, & Speedy Alka Seltzer — June 5, 2012
- Maybe Let Mel Make Maccabee's Movie — Sept. 13, 2011
- Memories — Oct. 1, 2009
- I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke — Jan. 1, 2008