Kings Comment


During the ten year period leading up to 1986 I wrote well over a hundred jingles for radio and television advertising. Some won awards, some were instantly forgettable, and one got me into a lot of trouble, in fact virtually put an end to what had been a lucrative career as a jingles writer, but that’s another story.  Denis King

Jingles include: 

AirwickLong Life 
All-Clear ShampooLong Life Beer 
Alto ShampooLondon Transport
Alton TowersM
AquafreshMacintoshe’s Toffo 
Arctic LightMail on Sunday 
Automobile AssociationMarmite 
Bank’s BitterMcDougall’s Flour 
Barclaycard McDonalds 
Batchelor’s Mushy Peas Mecca 
Blue Stratos Aftershave Melitta Coffee 
Bold Automatic Melody Hairspray 
Bolla Wine Memorex 
Boots Moulinex Tutti-Frutti 
Branston Pickle Mouliniere 
British Caledonian Mr. Sheen
British Gas N
British Leyland National Express Rapide 
Britvic National and Provincial 
Brown & Polson’s Cake MixNational Panasonic Radio 
CNestle’s Tip Top 
Cadbury’s Dairy Milk / Stackers/Crème Eggs Newcastle X Beer 
Campari Nice N’ Easy
Candy Washing Machines O
Carling Black Label Oxo
Castella P
Cigars Paxo 
Cellnet Pepsi 
Citroen Van Rouge Pepsodent (Indonesia) 
Clairol Foot Spa Persil
Clarks Shoes Q
Cloberg Wine Quality Street
Condor R
Colt 45 Radio Rentals 
Courage Ales Renault 
Cover-Plus Paints Ringos Crisps 
Crocodillo Robinson’s Baby Foods 
Crown PaintsRoss Frozen Foods 
DRowntree’s Cabana 
Double Top Ryvita
Dubonnet S
Dulux Paint St. Ivel 
EMI Films LogoSettler’s Indigestion Pills 
Ferrero Rocher Silvikrin 
Fiesta Kitchen Towels Slumberdown 
Fisher-Price Toys Solid Fuel 
Gillette T
GuinnessTetley’s Bitter 
HTetley’s Lager 
Halfords Tiffany Sparkling Wine 
Haze Air Freshener Tiny Tim 
Jacob’s Cream Crackers TV Times 
Jelly Gravy Typhoo Tea
John Smith’s Bitter & Lager U
Johnson’s Baby ShampooUBA 
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes V
Kellogg’s Waffles Vladivar 
Knorr Sauces Vodka
Kraft Philadelphia CheeseW
LWelsh Bitter 
Labour Party Jingle Wiltshire Stay-Sharp 
Lagoona Woolwich Cashbase
Lego Y
Lemsip Yardley Black Label 
Libero Nappies Yoplait Yogurt


Soon after I arrived in England, it occurred to me that a piece of music created especially for me, inspired by the composer’s love for me, would be a nice thing to have. I mentioned this, and, eventually, “Astrid’s Song” was born. Den thought he might have stolen part of it from a jingle he did for Clairol Foot Spa but I was thrilled and immediately bored everyone in my address book with the heady information that a song had been written especially for me.

A year or so later, not long after the global buzz had died down, Den was playing tracks from a Big Band dance album he’d just recorded for Sweden, one of which he’d titled “Midnight in Malmo” and I said sounded kind of familiar. Den agreed, but we couldn’t for the life of us think why. About two years after that, “Astrid (and Malmo’s) Song” was further recycled to become a thirty second TV plug for bathroom air freshener. Who says romance is dead. Astrid King

When I first came into his life, Den was composing music for three or four commercials per week. If ever this figure dropped to say nil commercials per week, Denis would panic about never working again and say “Bollocks, guess I’d better have another ring round” which is where you call up all your contacts at ad agencies to remind them you’re still alive and other humiliating info and then find out they don’t work there anymore.

We once heard that a composer friend of Den’s who worked constantly sent out demo tapes of his jingles to all the agencies once or twice a year, and we thought this sounded like an excellent idea, so, with my help, Denis recorded, labeled, addressed and sent out seventy-five cassettes around town, and then heard nothing, except of course for Den saying hourly isn’t it strange he hasn't heard back from anyone yet. Finally, about three months later, he gets a call.

"Mr. King? This is Verity Stewart from Green, Grosse, Ploptz, Pierreponty or Some Dumb Name Ltd. and I’ve just been listening to that tape you sent?"

"Oh yes? Really?"

"Yes, and I notice you did the music for Rowntrees Cabana Chocolate Bars?"

"Yes, that’s right." Den gave me the thumbs up.

"I was wondering if you could tell me who directed it?" the woman says.

Denis then got very friendly (professionally) with a big HBO TV lady named Lynn, who loved his stuff (music), in fact went overboard about it, and after she went back to New York we sent over the mountains of demo tapes she'd asked for, and then of course heard nothing. Did she get them? Did she hate them? Why do we bother, etc. Six months goes by, then a long chatty letter from her arrives saying how excited she is about the real estate course she's been taking, how it's always been a fascination of hers and how happy she is. Perfect? Den’s one surefire contact in the Big Apple and instead of a job she wanted to sell him a house. Astrid King

Fact of the Day
At a party at Georgia Brown's, Denis and Nina Simone sat at the piano and played the blues together after which she said "Hey, man, you swing!" The glow has yet to fade (even underwater).
Listening Post
Two People - Matt Monro vocal