Cliff Adams, the doyen of the ad jingle writers, whose prodigious
output included "For mash get Smash" and "All because the lady loves
Milk Tray", has died aged 78.
Adams, who together with Johnny Johnson, was responsible for about 80
per cent of the jingles heard on commercial TV since its beginning in
1955 until the mid-60s, died in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington after a
Although famous in his own right as a composer and as the arranger and
presenter of BBC Radio 2's Sing Something Simple (the world's
longest-running continuous music show), it is for his jingles that Adams
will always be best remembered.
The latest Milk Tray commercials still feature his theme and his other
well-known scores spanned products from confectionery (Murraymints and
Fry's Turkish Delight) to drinks ("A Double Diamond works wonders" and
Guinness) and cleaners (Fairy Liquid).
"At one time we'd be in the studio every week and turn out a jingle
every 90 minutes," Stella Walters, his producer for more than 40 years,
However, his biggest hit was for a product which flopped. In 1959, Adams
wrote the theme for a series of commercials for Strand cigarettes which
featured a man in a raincoat walking rainswept London streets late at
night and the line: "You're never alone with a Strand." The brand failed
because viewers equated it with being lonely.
Adams' funeral takes place this Friday (2 November) at 11am at Chelsea
Old Church, Old Church Street, London SW3. Anybody who knew him is
welcome to attend.