I am convinced that one of the best advertising jingles of the Sixties, and one of the worst, both came from an unlikely source: Utica, New York.
The best is the Utica Club Natural Carbonation Beer Drinking Song, concocted to move larger quantities of the titular yellow lager.
Listen to that groovy organ foaming up like a head of draft beer, and those persistent ba-ba-ba-ba vocals, and those hip-nonsensical lyrics, and that weird sonic uprush after the line “Wanna see a place to make your eyes glow?”
This is maniacal and fabulous and it makes me want to drink beer. (OK, that doesn’t take much. But still.)
On the other end of the spectrum is “Mohawk’s Going Your Way,” produced in 1968 for Mohawk Airlines, the plucky, Utica-based regional airline snapped up a few years later by Allegheny.
The offbeat rhythm and the uncomfortably phrased vocals (“Where-ever-you’re-going-Mo-hawk-is-going-your-way”) are as choppy as in-flight turbulence. The male and female singers have that polite Fifties vibrato thing going on, as well, which doesn’t really jive with the hip backing.
Plus, the jingle just sort of ends, on one embarrassed-sounding bass thump.
(If I’m not mistaken, the jingle ends one key lower than it started, which seems sort of illogical. Think of how singers will often shift a song into a higher key near the end, to build the intensity.)
So, yeah, this doesn’t make me want to go buy a ticket to Poughkeepsie.