WHAT HAS SPEEDWAY GOT TO DO WITH US?

Those of a certain age will remember…


Back in the early Seventies, TV and cinema adverts were full of original music which often amounted to far more than simple jingles. Listen to the song ‘Fly the Flag’ on our Time of Our Lives page for a good example - but there were so many more. Who can see a Walls Cornetto ice cream cone without hearing a Venetian gondolier singing:


Just one Cornetto,

Give it to me,

Delicious ice-cream

Of Italy…


(That product was introduced in 1976 although the commercial came rather later.)

Teenagers at the start of the decade may well have been introduced to their first use of grown-up deodorants with a can of ‘US’. This unisex aerosol product was aimed at active young people, as the television commercial opposite shows.

The song that accompanied it, apparently performed by a pop group singing in a busy disco, had a catchy tune with the lyrics:


Every day in every way,

You’re okay with US


The connection with speedway is not just that US was badly needed in the hot and sweaty pits at Plough Lane - or any other track. It is that our own Seventies star and Swedish Champion Tommy Jansson was one of the youthful faces chosen by the manufacturers Johnson Wax to advertise their new deodorant to the teenagers of Britain.

It will come as no surprise to readers of Michael Hansen’s novels to learn that this is the origin of Joe Barnes’s sponsorship by the American company Lubos, manufacturer of the unisex deodorant ‘IN’.

Real afficionados will know that ‘US’ originally came in two different colours of aerosol can.

At the time, Johnson Wax, makers of ‘US’, released a ‘single’ with the title ‘You’re OK With US’ by the group ‘The US’. It was rather different from the simple ditty on the commercial, however, and so was the group. The singer on the record was actually a young David Essex who would go on to find huge success in music, the theatre and films. The writer and arranger was Jeff Wayne, later responsible for the music in ‘War of the Worlds’ but who, at the time, was making a very good living writing songs and jingles for the advertising industry.

Tommy Jansson in the normally hot and sticky pits at Plough Lane advertising ‘US’ deodorant in 1975

A PROMOTIONAL SINGLE

Label: Sound Department     Year of release: 1970

LISTEN TO AN EXTRACT

Just click the picture above to hear a brief clip from the original vinyl record


You’re OK with US You're OK With Us extract 2.wav The original TV commercial