It’s So Shmoooth!

 

“That champagne velvety taste, So shmoooth!”
Champagne Velvet Beer radio commercial, 1940s-1950s

If you listen to old-time radio shows, and if the person posting them leaves the ads in, you will eventually run across this ad from a mid-sized regional brewer in Terre Haute, IN. The brand survived Prohibition, then faltered in the great brewery consolidation era, eventually reformulating as a high-alcohol malt liquor before failing and then having their brand revived as a retro-craft beer by Upland Brewing. The ad pitchman’s delivery of the “so shmoooth” line in a slightly nasal tone, with smooth changed to a drawn out shhmoooth, produced a great earworm … which came back to mind when I saw a Korean beer in my local Korean supermarket.

I had a passing and somewhat contemptuous familiarity with OB, the biggest Korean beer brand. It belongs in the same class as Rainer and Rolling Rock, if those mean anything to you. I mean bottom shelf, best tucked behind some Miller Lite.

But, what was this Kloud? I was intrigued by the name and the can, with a price around that of Coors or Budweiser meaning that I could satisfy my impulsive curiosity without much conflict with my inner skinflint. Notice the beer’s name is rendered in a gothic style, suggesting German roots. Of course, this is strictly true, as most beers, outside of the old British Empire, reflect the 19th Century surge of German business and emigration around the world.

What struck me about Kloud is the claim on the can: “Enjoy Rich & Smooth Foam.” As my eyes scanned over that phrase, my mind accessed the old pitchman’s voice “shmoooth!” A bit of research revealed that the Champagne Velvet advertising pitch was a mid-century departure from CV’s classic line “the beer with the million dollar flavor,” a claim based on their marketing decision to insure the recipe for one million dollars. That early tag line has been revived by the current brewery, but would never have triggered this bit of word and sound association. What bits of old ads pop up in your mind?


Oh, what about the taste you ask? Kloud is a serviceable brew, perhaps fitting in the Coors “Banquet Beer” range.

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  1. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    I think jingles roam around in my head more than just bits of ads.

    “Electricity cost less today you know/than it did many long years ago…Little bill!” Accompanied by a small cartoon bird or duck. Get it?

    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    When we first moved to Minnesota many years ago, there was a commercial set in a blizzard with Valkyrie who bursts open the door of a home and sings (to the tune of The Ride of the Valkyries) “Welcome to winter/in Minnesota/here is your fuel bill/ha ha ha ha!”

    Hamm’s beer – “From the land of sky blue waters/waters/comes a beer refreshing/Hamm’s a beer refreshing/Hamm’s”

    Funny how there is room in the brain for such silliness.

     

    • #1
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Advertisers on New York baseball games in the late Fifties through the mid-Sixties:

    “It goes down, down, straight to your thirst,

    A Knickerbocker

    Satisfies your beer thirst better…”

     

    “Heyy, get yer cold beer!

    Hey, get your Ballantine,

    Heyy, get your ice cold beer,

    Get your ice cold Ballantine beer”

     

    “Schaefer is the, one beer to have when you’re, having more than one

    Schaefer, pleasure, it never fades even when the day is done…”

     

    “Bert and Harry Piels here…”

    • #2
  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    “Ju-u-u-st let Hertz! Put you! In the driver’s seat

    Let Hertz! Take you! Anywhere at all…

    By the hour, by the day, by the week, or anyway,

    Ju-u-st let Hertz! Put you-u-u-u

    (Special effects of a happy driver dropping into the seat of a moving car)

    in the driver’s seat, 

    Todayyy!”

    • #3
  4. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    • #4
  5. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Don’t you dare tell anyone from PA that you consider Rolling Rock on par with Rainier “The Beer from Here!”.

    Back in the day, it wasn’t actually widely available, so it was a “craft” beer for the 80s.

    Of course, the “Brewed in Mountains of Latrobe” line always came off false to me.

    “You mean, 4,000+ feet below my house? Some ‘mountains'”

    Didn’t win me many friends in Latrobe.

    • #5
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Clifford, I’m afraid I must take issue with you for the first time.

    It’s about OB beer. Did you drink it in-country, or was it exported? When I was in Korea on business in the 80s, I thought it compared favorably with my all-time favorite – Aschaffenburger Brau. They say beer doesn’t travel well, and that’s why locally purchased beer never seems to taste a good as we remember it from its home country.

    • #6
  7. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    We had WCFL in Chicago too! Also with Barney Pip, Ron Britain, and Chicken Man. And Larry Lujack.  And we had WLS with Dick Biondi. One of those  guys, might have been Ron Britain, was at my very first modeling job, just hanging out at the studio because he was friends with the photographer. I was so starstruck at the time, and now I can’t even remember which guy it was.

     

    • #7
  8. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I think jingles roam around in my head more than just bits of ads.

    “Electricity cost less today you know/than it did many long years ago…Little bill!” Accompanied by a small cartoon bird or duck. Get it?

     

    I remember Little Bill! (“tweet tweet Little BILL”)
    Vintage light bulb package from the 1950's featuring Commonwealth Edison's classic icon ...

    • #8
  9. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Clifford, I’m afraid I must take issue with you for the first time.

    It’s about OB beer. Did you drink it in-country, or was it exported? When I was in Korea on business in the 80s, I thought it compared favorably with my all-time favorite – Aschaffenburger Brau. They say beer doesn’t travel well, and that’s why locally purchased beer never seems to taste a good as we remember it from its home country.

    I think beer can travel well, but it depends on the container. I’ve had imports on tap that were excellent, if perhaps not up to the standards of the home country. On the other hand, if you go to the store and buy a six-pack of a bottled import who knows how long it’s been sitting there under the light?

    • #9
  10. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    The Hamm’s Beer ad is hard to forget.

    From the Land of Sky Blue Waters
    From the land of pines, lofty Balsams,
    Comes, the Beer Refreshing,
    Hamm’s the Beer Refreshing,
    Hamm’s!

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Clifford A. Brown: Notice the beer’s name is rendered in a gothic style, suggesting German roots.

    Looks more like an English Textualis form of Blackletter rather than the typical German Fraktur Blackletter typeface. Doesn’t mean they weren’t trying to achieve an old German look, but they failed for me.

    • #11
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Notice the beer’s name is rendered in a gothic style, suggesting German roots.

    Looks more like an English Textualis form of Blackletter rather than the typical German Fraktur Blackletter typeface. Doesn’t mean they weren’t trying to achieve an old German look, but they failed for me.

    I’m guessing you are not in their target demographic.

    • #12
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Clifford, I’m afraid I must take issue with you for the first time.

    It’s about OB beer. Did you drink it in-country, or was it exported? When I was in Korea on business in the 80s, I thought it compared favorably with my all-time favorite – Aschaffenburger Brau. They say beer doesn’t travel well, and that’s why locally purchased beer never seems to taste a good as we remember it from its home country.

    My memory is of bottles or cans around Camp Casey in 1990-1991. Then I bought a 6 pack of bottles or cans around a year ago in the same Korean supermarket here in Mesa. Whatever the truth of my thirty year old memories, the more recent 6 pack was fit for mixing with tomato juice, and that was about all I would say for it.

    • #13
  14. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I think jingles roam around in my head more than just bits of ads.

    “Electricity cost less today you know/than it did many long years ago…Little bill!” Accompanied by a small cartoon bird or duck. Get it?

     

    I remember Little Bill! (“tweet tweet Little BILL”)
    Vintage light bulb package from the 1950's featuring Commonwealth Edison's classic icon ...

    More proof that the more lovable birds go extinct first.

     

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    I think jingles roam around in my head more than just bits of ads.

    “Electricity cost less today you know/than it did many long years ago…Little bill!” Accompanied by a small cartoon bird or duck. Get it?

     

    I remember Little Bill! (“tweet tweet Little BILL”)
    Vintage light bulb package from the 1950's featuring Commonwealth Edison's classic icon ...

    Ricochet is pretty amazing.

    • #15
  16. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “Ju-u-u-st let Hertz! Put you! In the driver’s seat

    Let Hertz! Take you! Anywhere at all…

    By the hour, by the day, by the week, or anyway,

    Ju-u-st let Hertz! Put you-u-u-u

    (Special effects of a happy driver dropping into the seat of a moving car)

    in the driver’s seat,

    Todayyy!”

    At one time that happy driver was Maclean Stevenson.

    • #16
  17. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Advertisers on New York baseball games in the late Fifties through the mid-Sixties:

    “It goes down, down, straight to your thirst,

    A Knickerbocker

    Satisfies your beer thirst better…”

     

    “Heyy, get yer cold beer!

    Hey, get your Ballantine,

    Heyy, get your ice cold beer,

    Get your ice cold Ballantine beer”

     

    “Schaefer is the, one beer to have when you’re, having more than one

    Schaefer, pleasure, it never fades even when the day is done…”

     

    “Bert and Harry Piels here…”

    Take a ring, and then another ring and then another ring and you got three rings. Ballantine…

    • #17
  18. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “Ju-u-u-st let Hertz! Put you! In the driver’s seat

    Let Hertz! Take you! Anywhere at all…

    By the hour, by the day, by the week, or anyway,

    Ju-u-st let Hertz! Put you-u-u-u

    (Special effects of a happy driver dropping into the seat of a moving car)

    in the driver’s seat,

    Todayyy!”

    At one time that happy driver was Maclean Stevenson.

    I remember that. Was that before Love Boat?

    • #18
  19. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    “Ju-u-u-st let Hertz! Put you! In the driver’s seat

    Let Hertz! Take you! Anywhere at all…

    By the hour, by the day, by the week, or anyway,

    Ju-u-st let Hertz! Put you-u-u-u

    (Special effects of a happy driver dropping into the seat of a moving car)

    in the driver’s seat,

    Todayyy!”

    At one time that happy driver was Maclean Stevenson.

    I remember that. Was that before Love Boat?

    It was before MASH. 

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    “Mother, Please! I’d Rather Do it Myself!” Excedrin Headache Number Nine

    • #20
  21. Juliana Member
    Juliana
    @Juliana

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    We had WCFL in Chicago too! Also with Barney Pip, Ron Britain, and Chicken Man. And Larry Lujack. And we had WLS with Dick Biondi. One of those guys, might have been Ron Britain, was at my very first modeling job, just hanging out at the studio because he was friends with the photographer. I was so starstruck at the time, and now I can’t even remember which guy it was.

    Jerry G Bishop was also the original TV Svengoolie – which we did not miss on a Saturday night. (Berwyn!?!) I actually liked WCFL better than WLS, especially Chicken Man. But with two top rock stations to pick from, flipping the dial from one to another to find favorite songs was part of the fun.

    Larry Lujack’s animal stories are legendary.

    Does anyone just have fun on the radio anymore?

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Juliana (View Comment):
    Does anyone just have fun on the radio anymore?

    Rush Limbaugh?

    • #22
  23. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Juliana (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    We had WCFL in Chicago too! Also with Barney Pip, Ron Britain, and Chicken Man. And Larry Lujack. And we had WLS with Dick Biondi. One of those guys, might have been Ron Britain, was at my very first modeling job, just hanging out at the studio because he was friends with the photographer. I was so starstruck at the time, and now I can’t even remember which guy it was.

    Jerry G Bishop was also the original TV Svengoolie – which we did not miss on a Saturday night. (Berwyn!?!) I actually liked WCFL better than WLS, especially Chicken Man. But with two top rock stations to pick from, flipping the dial from one to another to find favorite songs was part of the fun.

    Larry Lujack’s animal stories are legendary.

    Does anyone just have fun on the radio anymore?

    Standing on the corner across from my high school with my friends. Smoking cigarettes and listening to The Tooth Fairy on WLS.

    During the summer, I worked in a factory on the north side by Wrigley Field where WCFL, the voice of labor, was the only station allowed.

    • #23
  24. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    We had WCFL in Chicago too! Also with Barney Pip, Ron Britain, and Chicken Man. And Larry Lujack. And we had WLS with Dick Biondi. One of those guys, might have been Ron Britain, was at my very first modeling job, just hanging out at the studio because he was friends with the photographer. I was so starstruck at the time, and now I can’t even remember which guy it was.

    Jerry G Bishop was also the original TV Svengoolie – which we did not miss on a Saturday night. (Berwyn!?!) I actually liked WCFL better than WLS, especially Chicken Man. But with two top rock stations to pick from, flipping the dial from one to another to find favorite songs was part of the fun.

    Larry Lujack’s animal stories are legendary.

    Does anyone just have fun on the radio anymore?

    Standing on the corner across from my high school with my friends. Smoking cigarettes and listening to The Tooth Fairy on WLS.

    During the summer, I worked in a factory on the north side by Wrigley Field where WCFL, the voice of labor, was the only station allowed.

     

    One of my favorite albums:

     

    • #24
  25. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Clifford, I’m afraid I must take issue with you for the first time.

    It’s about OB beer. Did you drink it in-country, or was it exported? When I was in Korea on business in the 80s, I thought it compared favorably with my all-time favorite – Aschaffenburger Brau. They say beer doesn’t travel well, and that’s why locally purchased beer never seems to taste a good as we remember it from its home country.

    My memory is of bottles or cans around Camp Casey in 1990-1991. Then I bought a 6 pack of bottles or cans around a year ago in the same Korean supermarket here in Mesa. Whatever the truth of my thirty year old memories, the more recent 6 pack was fit for mixing with tomato juice, and that was about all I would say for it.

    Do you pour it down the sink after you mix  it with tomato juice?

    • #25
  26. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Juliana (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Juliana (View Comment):
    And pretty much anyone in the Midwest who listened to rock and roll on their transistor radios late at night heard “WLS/in Chicago”

    As a 16-year old growing up in Maryland, I listened to WCFL, “The Voice of Labor!” [woman screaming]. Barney Pip, Ron Britain and Chicken Man.

    We had WCFL in Chicago too! Also with Barney Pip, Ron Britain, and Chicken Man. And Larry Lujack. And we had WLS with Dick Biondi. One of those guys, might have been Ron Britain, was at my very first modeling job, just hanging out at the studio because he was friends with the photographer. I was so starstruck at the time, and now I can’t even remember which guy it was.

    Jerry G Bishop was also the original TV Svengoolie – which we did not miss on a Saturday night. (Berwyn!?!) I actually liked WCFL better than WLS, especially Chicken Man. But with two top rock stations to pick from, flipping the dial from one to another to find favorite songs was part of the fun.

    Larry Lujack’s animal stories are legendary.

    Does anyone just have fun on the radio anymore?

    You can get Animal Stories on CD.   I have some of the CDs.   Animal Stories on WLS were great.

    • #26