My Rejected Ohana Steakhouse Jingle
My One Foray Into Commercial Songwriting
Back when I worked for the big New York music producer, he told me that one possible way to break into the field of songwriting, if all else fails, is to write commercial jingles. It's obviously a longshot, he admitted. There is only one known case of a jingle-writer who went on to bigger success -- and that, of course, was the Tidy Bowl Man, Barry Manilow. Many of the most well-known commercial jingles ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there". . .,etc.) were penned by Barry (some people say the jingles were better than anything that followed).
Well, I never had much interest in breaking in that way. But then all of a sudden it was the mid-90s and I'm in my 40s, and I've got to do something.
Now, anyone who knows me and Pam knows that on any given Friday night if I'm not playing somewhere we're eating dinner at Ohana Steakhouse in West Des Moines. It's something of a religion for us. After a few years, I started hearing the new commercial on the radio with the cute, catchy jingle. I was thinking that Cy (the owner) should sue the agency that threw together that piece of tripe, because it has nothing to do with what goes on at Ohana Steakhouse.
Then I started thinking, "This is my chance." This was my opportunity to follow in the shoes of the Tidy Bowl Man. I went home and wrote and recorded my jingle for Ohana Steakhouse. I made a CD and gave it to Cy (who didn't know me from Adam in those days). Cy at least let on like he liked it. Apparently he took it to the ad agency, who made up some story about how the format was wrong so they couldn't use it.
Five or six years later, Cy and his staff are now among my best friends. So I feel obligated to try to get my jingle out there. Here it is. After hearing my jingle, the ad agency came out with something a little better. But the next time you hear "The greatest tasting show in town -- OHAAAAnah Steakhouse," listen to this and ask yourself, "Honestly, which is better?"