Music Goes Better with Coca-Cola

A number of notable names in pop music have recorded jingles for Coca-Cola, and — incredible as it might seem — a few of them came out surprisingly well.

  • Sydney, Australia’s Easybeats pull off the nice hat trick of writing an unabashed ode to a soft drink that is – at the same time – an infectious piece of rock ‘n’ soul, possibly from 1966:

[Pssst:  Click the triangle above to play The Easybeats’ mid-60s Coke ad.]

  • Alex Chilton’s Box Tops craft a soul pop nugget that gets a boost each time the bass trombone makes an appearance — recorded in 1968, I’m guessing:

[Pssst:  Click the triangle above to play The Box Tops’ late-60s Coke ad.]

  • The Moody Blues disguise the product placement rather adroitly with this tuneful slice of psychedelic pop from 1969:

[Pssst:  Click the triangle above to play The Moody Blues’ Coke ad from 1969.]

Coke Ad 1

Coke Ad 2Coke Ad 3

Muddy Waters: He’s a Pepper, Too

From reading Robert Gordon’s excellent biography of Muddy Waters – Can’t Be Satisfied –  I learned that the former McKinley Morganfield once made a little pocket change recording a radio spot for Dr. Pepper:

Is it really true – as the YouTube video clip contributor asserts – that Randy Newman wrote this blues jingle?   Could it be that this very same radio ad can be found on a rare piece of promotional vinyl, Dr. Pepper: The Most Original Soft Drink Ever – Original Cast Album?

Dr. Pepper Cast LPaDr. Pepper Cast LPb

This Dr. Pepper album sold for $50 in a 2010 Ebay purchase and is described on Popsike (online archive of rare vinyl auction sales) as  “RARE Muddy Waters Randy Newman.”

Bob Margolin, Muddy’s guitarist throughout the 70s (and as seen in the classic Last Waltz performance), recalls the following details about the jingle’s recording:

“I have no idea who wrote it.  We weren’t told.  I do remember it was recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago and I played a bass line/ rhythm guitar part that you can hear clearly on the right side that led the band through very strange non-standard Blues changes.  Trying to get Muddy to sing the right words over it was not easy.  We did get it though, and I think Muddy’s belligerent voice singing those words is very…weird and funny.”