Roto-Rooter Jingle Turns 60
Can you sing the Roto-Rooter jingle? If you can’t we bet your parents can. As far as we can tell, the Roto-Rooter jingle is the oldest continuously-used jingle in advertising history and it turned 60 years old this year. Out of all the products and services out there, who would have guessed that a plumbing and drain cleaning company’s jingle would outlast all the others?
I recently read an article claiming the Oscar Mayer Weiner jingle (I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner…) was the oldest continuously used advertising jingle but, in fact, Roto-Rooter’s jingle was already in use for eight years before it appeared on the scene. Another article claimed the Slinky jingle (Slinky, Slinky, oh what a wonderful toy…) held the crown. But Slinky’s jingle made its debut in 1962, the same as Oscar Mayer’s.
The Roto-Rooter jingle was written and performed for the first time in 1954 as a live commercial at WLS Radio in Chicago by Captain Stubby and The Buccaneers. It became successful because it
so perfectly described the Roto-Rooter service and was catchy to the point that it’s almost unforgettable. Once you hear, it stays in your brain forever! Roto-Rooter never stopped using the jingle in its radio and TV commercials. And you’ll find the jingle in almost every video the company has on its robust YouTube channel, Roto-Rooter TV. Make sure you stop by our YouTube channel to see a fun video about our famous jingle and the Roto-Rooter jingle that preceded it.One thing worth noting is that only the last couple of lines of the jingle made it into most of the commercials. In fact, the full length jingle was a commercial in and of itself back when it made its debut on WLS. So for those of you who don’t know every word, here it is the 1954 jingle lyrics in their entirety:
Roto-Rooter is quick first aid for clogs, sewers and stopped up drains. The wonderful Roto-Rooter machine twists and turns and shaves lines clean. Call Roto-Rooter, that’s the name, and away go troubles down the drain…Roto-Rooter!
Years later, an additional verse was added to the jingle. Here are the lyrics to the new verse:
When Roto-Rooter comes, that’s when your troubles go. When Roto-Rooter’s here, that’s when your troubles disappear. Call Roto-Rooter, that’s the name and away go troubles down the drain…Roto-Rooter!