Sunday, March 28, 2010

Disco, Disco Bear.....

A&W, an American restaurant chain which is still quite big in Canada, has been building on their history in this country since 1956. The walls of each restaurant are lined with their archive of pictures taken over the decades. This particular jingle may not be something they remember or want to remember fondly.

It's 1979, at the height of the disco era, and A&W doesn't want to be left out in relating to the young crowd. "Follow the root bear.." is about as intense as this jingle gets to a disco beat, but what's a bit surprising for me is the voice over announcer mixed in with the jingle. This guy is kinda creepy. Even in the loose and swinging era of the 70's, I really think any girl, even this guy's own sister, would run the other way instead of heading to A&W for a burger and fries. But who am I to say? I still think the guy comes off as creepy or desperate or maybe even both.

From 1979, A & W Food Services
Produced by Spot Shop, Vancouver
From Tape Sept 21st, 1979

:60 sec Disco with VO (cut 4 of 4 on the reel)



After listening to the whole tape of the additional 3 spots, these are just as "good" (tongue in cheek on what you consider good in life) so i'm also including these as below:

A & W Country with V/O


A & W Baroque with V/O

A & W 50's with V/O



  1. I agree that the disco era was an easy one to take shots at, but that's comedic voice artist Bill Reiter you're talking about! : ) Further to this, I also think the most likely outcome to this script...she has run for her coat, and dashed out the back door!

    Great work on all your work archiving these, btw!

  2. Thanks for the comment, though i'm about 2 years late :)

    As for Bill Reiter, I know the voice more then the name here in Atlantic Canada. It seems he's known far more on the west coast. I remember his "Mr Tawful Awful" character from a VERY obscure radio play produced by Michael Morgan and Miles Ramsay probably in the 80s called "The Nissan Night before Christmas" which sees airing on my internet radio stream every christmas because it is so obscure.

    Googling his name, WOW! hes like a legend in Vancouver, and dare I say it, exactly what I pictured in my head of listening to his voice. Good for him!

    I think we'll just blame my "creepy" comment on the script and direction. He seems like a good guy having a lot of fun behind the mic.

  3. I would really love to know where I could get a copy of that obscure little radio play, The Nissan Night Before Christmas. My dad is Miles Ramsay, one of the producers, and I was the voice of Joe Buffalo. But I don't have a copy of it, and 30 or so years later, I would love to play it for my kids....