A 1966-67 TV ad campaign for Benson & Hedges 100’s focused on the extra long cigarettes’ disadvantages, making for situational giggles. The commercial was popular enough for the alluring musical backdrop to get some airplay on its own. Written by Mitch Leigh, the same man who scored the Man of La Mancha musical, the genuine as-heard-on-television article made enough noise in Cleveland to chart locally and to get listed in a 2/11/67 issue of Billboard as a potential breakout hit. This record was credited to The Answer on the red Columbia label, and the arrangers are listed as “Music Makers,” aka Leigh’s own production house. (Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles erroneously cites Bill Dean and John Campbell as the songwriters.) Another arrangement of this song, by Phil Bodner’s studio assembly the Brass Ring, entered the charts a week earlier on the Dunhill label with the hyphenated title “The Dis-Advantages of You” (and an arrangement of the “Dating Game” theme on side B). Peaking at #36, it outpaced the original as a full-blown Top 40 hit.
Archive for February, 2015
If you reach for your nearest set of red and blue glasses, you can watch this simulated 3D YouTube presentation of the 1965 “Noah’s Ark” ViewMaster reels. The clay figurines are by the sculptor Florence Thomas.
YouTube isn’t as 3D friendly as it was when these videos were posted, apparently, so here’s how to watch: After clicking the link to the YouTube video, replace “watch?v=” with “v/” (no quotation marks). Play the video, then look for the gear symbol at the bottom right. Click on that, then click “options.” Make sure that “red/cyan” and “full color” are checked. You may also need to check the “swap (right left)” box if it still doesn’t look right. And of course, if you’d rather just look at the pictures, you can go back to “options” and click “off” next to the 3D heading.
The proudly atonal guitar refrain endeared this one to some friends and me who were making plenty of atonal music not to be proud of. We also enjoyed the title’s anti-erection implications, spoken on the record as though it were part of a TV ad. “Shrivel up!” someone usually said whenever something disappointing happened.