Memory Lane: A Sound of Summer, 1960

This was one of those things that just pop into my head for no reason: the old Ballantine Beer jingle, vintage 1960–from an ad on the Jean Shepherd show, no less.

I was too young to stay up and listen to Jean Shepherd. For us kids, “Hey, getcha cold beer!” meant New York Yankees baseball broadcasts. The Giants and Dodgers had deserted us, and there were no Mets yet, so it was Yankees all summer long. Brought to you by Gillette Razor Blades (“You’ll look sharp, and you’ll feel sharp, too!”) and Ballantine, brewed right here in New Jersey. Mel Allen in the broadcast booth, saying “How about that!” And it was mostly day games, back them.

And also in the daytime, the crack of the bat from the athletic field next door, where some of the guys on the high school baseball team would get together for a pick-up game. On rare occasions, they would allow some of us 11-year-olds to play with them. Oh, paradise! I hit a home run once, in one of those games: I’ll never forget it.

I wasn’t old enough to drink beer, but for some reason I really dug those Ballantine commercials. No school, play all day long, clip baseball cards to our bikes so they’d rub against the spokes and sound like a motor–yeah: it was good.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

14 responses to “Memory Lane: A Sound of Summer, 1960

  • Linda Sorci

    You do have a way of finding memory lane, Lee 🙂 And this one reminded me of another. Remember ‘Hey, Mabel, Black Label’ Even though these are beer commercials, the times were so innocent – even dreamy 🙂

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  • UnKnowable

    It is a catchy jingle.

    In my part of the country, Hamm’s Beer was the most prolific advertiser. There were cartoon bears, as I recall and a theme song with the lyrics, from the land of sky blue waters, sung to what sounded like a convincing imitation of a Native American chant, tom toms and all. To this day, I have never had a Hamm’s Beer so I don’t know anything about it. Schlitz was the other common beer. Then I moved to Colorado where Coors was a local presence and quite popular.

    As Linda mentions, in those times even beer commercials were innocent. These days a beer commercial would probably feature a strutting, preening male in his twenties and the suggestion would be that drinking the right brand of beer attracts female attention. (I don’t watch TV, so I don’t know.

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    • leeduigon

      “The great beer brotherhood of Hamm’s”–was that the slogan?

      I wonder if I can find that great old Stroh’s ad, with the joyful fishermen catching cans of beer instead of fish. “The Stroh’s are running!” Yeah, that’s innocent.

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      • UnKnowable

        The Hamm’s slogan I remember was “from the land of sky blue waters”. The “great beer brotherhood of Hamm’s” sounds familiar as well; it may have come later.

        I’m going to be traveling the next few weeks, so I may be a bit scarce. I intend to visit the Midwest, so I think I’ll have my first ever Hamm’s and see if it’s as good as their advertising. 🙂

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        • leeduigon

          Bon voyage, kimosabe, and check in when you can. It won’t be the same around here without you.

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          • UnKnowable

            I’ll try to check in, but on my traveling days it will be sporadic at best.

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          • Linda Sorci

            Enjoy your excursion, Unknowable. It’s well earned 🙂

            And I’m with Lee. It sure wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t hear from you at least once in awhile!

            Blessings and safety. The Lord accompany you.

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          • UnKnowable

            Thanks Linda. I have a number of people I need to see and, in view of the difficulties of our time, I think I should do it now.

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          • Linda Sorci

            Kitty will miss you I’m sure. Treats will be in order when you get home 🙂

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          • UnKnowable

            She already seems to sense that something is up. I’m being showered with affection and she wants to be wherever I am, usually leaning against me.

            I have a sitter in place, a friend that knows her well and will house-sit. No matter what, I’ll still miss her and she’ll greet me enthusiastically when I get home.

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          • Linda Sorci

            Believe it or not, if you tell her how many days you will be away, and count them out for her, she will understand and know when to look for your return home 🙂

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          • UnKnowable

            I’ll give it a try. Whenever I leave, I always make it a point to tell her that I’m leaving and that I intend to come back. Even if I just drive into town for a bite to eat, I always tell her. I don’t know how much she understands, but st the very least she knows that I didn’t leave and forget to take her along.

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