Coca Cola Signature
Versatile Piece Of Music
"Ice Cold Coca Cola
makes any pause…..
the pause that refreshes…..
and Coca Cola is everywhere."
Lincoln, Me. (DG)---
modern times, musical jingles have played a key role in the advertising of
Coca Cola. Some of those jingles have become classics in modern
advertising. While music is important in today’s Coca Cola advertising,
it was also important for selling Coke on radio during the golden
On a Wednesday evening in 1930 (exact date unknown) at 10:30 PM, the
radio listeners heard the first broadcast of THE COCA COLA HOUR
on NBC’s Red Network. The program had an unusual combination of
sports and music. Graham McNamee and Grantland Rice interviewed famous sports
stars of the era, and Leonard W. Joy with his 31-piece string symphony handled
the music. The program also had the rare distinction (by 1930 standards) to
air from coast-to-coast.
Joy wrote the theme music for the program. It didn’t have a specific
name, so the music was simply called "The Coca Cola Signature."
In radio terminology, "signature" meant theme song. It consisted of
only a few bars and it never finished. The music faded out when the program
began. Joy created the signature to serve as the program’s theme music, but
little did he know The Coca Cola Signature continued to
be heard on radio into the 1950’s.
The Coca Cola Signature served as the theme music
on all radio programs sponsored by Coca Cola for the remainder
of radio’s golden age. Not only that, the music also served another purpose---
it was in some cases, Coca Cola’s commercial.
As a breath of fresh air to those radio listeners who hated radio commercials,
Coca Cola didn’t have lengthy commercials, excitable announcers,
or silly gimmicks. The commercials were brief, to the point, and presented
in a professional manner. In some commercials, all was heard was The
Coca Cola Signature, the opening of a bottle of Coke,
and the announcer saying the program was presented by Coca Cola.
That was it. Although the commercials didn’t have much context, they were
effective in convincing the radio listeners to open a bottle of Coke
and feel refreshed.
For a piece of music that was designed to open and close THE COCA
COLA HOUR, The Coca Cola Signature did its part in selling
Coca Cola for over 2 decades. Its unassuming music provided
the inspiration that music sells Coca Cola--- and it has to
this very day.