Advertising's jingle-writing king dies

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

short illness.

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.

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