Great Shakes

Great Shakes

Keith Mcelmurry, if you’re still out there, this one’s for you.

“Any place can be a soda fountain now, with Great Shakes, yeah Great Shakes!”

Not only was this a great commercial jingle, it was sung by some serious rock and roll stars of the 60’s. At least three movers and shakers were persuaded by Great Shakes, manufacured by General Foods, to perform their jingle in the style that would define the signature of each artist: Dusty Springfield, The Who, and The Yardbirds.

Over the years, mega-corporations like Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, and Coca-Cola have managed to pony up enough bucks to get popular music stars to hawk their wares.

But Great Shakes just happened to tap into some of the greatest talent of the 1960’s for their ads. And they weren’t singing some garbage crafted by some no-talent PR guy. The Great Shakes jingle still rings true through my brain even though it hasn’t appeared on television in at least 35 years.

The aforementioned Keith Mcelmurray and myself had a discussion circa 1976 concerning this song. We were both youngsters working in a grocery store, and we we agreed that the Great Shakes jingle was a classic tune that should somehow be immortalized and given its due.

Well, neither one of us foresaw things like computers in each home, the internet, or the digitizing of music. But nowadays, you can either listen to or purchase online the original jingles by the aforementioned trio of talented artists by shrewd search engine usage.

Believe it or not, I don’t ever recall making a Great Shake. Perhaps that’s why they aren’t around anymore. While I loved the commercials, the product itself just didn’t ring my bell.

You took powder, poured it into an included cup, added milk, sealed it with its included lid, and shook it until it turned into a shake “so thick it stands up to a straw.” Some of my friends bragged about it, but I never got around to trying it.

Too bad. Unlike its immortal jingle, Great Shakes disappeared from the scene a long time ago.

5 thoughts on “Great Shakes”

  1. My father designed the Great Shakes package for General Foods.
    He was a freelance Designer and did lots of work for GF.
    We lived in Westport CT. He designed several Great Shack package concepts for GF to choose from.
    I was just a kid but I remember my Dad got this white box with no print on it. Inside were these strange rectangular packages full of powder.
    I remember opening the blank white triangular packages and mixing it with milk.
    We took it upon ourselves to add a raw egg to the mix as well.
    Once we consumed all the contents in the blank white box I never saw the stuff again.

    He also designed all the Jell-O packaging back in the 60’s
    Remember Jell-O 123

    1. I remember Jell-o 1 2 3.

      Late 60s and I convinced mom to buy a box.

      Then and the 2 or 3 times I bought it as an adult the product never produced anything similar to the pictures in the ads. They all produced almost all jelly Jell-o. LOL

      Do they still make it?

      I was really surprised the last couple of times – years back – when I saw it on grocery store shelves that it was still in production

  2. I just googled this item, which shows that even though 58+ years have passed since I’ve had one, I apparently still think about them. If I remember correctly, there were three flavors, and we always had all three in the house. As a little kid, I had to hop on the kitchen counter on my knees to reach the cabinet where they were stored. I remember the oddly shaped packages of powder and I remember the mixing container and also remember LOVING them. It was the 60’s, so I doubt there were any chemicals or high fructose corn syrup in this stuff – good memories.

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