© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City companies have produced their fair share of standout jingles

Ways To Subscribe
Grass Pad
The Grass Pad
With one of the best tag lines, the Grass Pad serves customers in five locations in the greater Kansas City area.

Love them or hate them, catchy tunes and clever wording make these musical ads memorable for generations.

From Thermal King Windows and Bob Sight Independence Kia to Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center and Celsius Tannery, local homegrown advertising jingles have become lodged in our brains. Composed by accomplished musicians, local jingles aim to translate their message in a short and catchy tune.

Danny Cox, the composer and long-time performer of the Grass Pad jingles, shares the origin of Grass Pad’s tagline, “high on grass.”

“Mike who owns the Grass Pad, he and I were just sitting around talking…and he was just saying to me, ‘You know, when…I'm cutting my grass, man,’ he says, 'I am just high.’ And I said, ‘Mike, do you think we could actually say you're high on grass?’”

Timothy Taylor, professor of ethnomusicology at the University of California - Los Angeles, specializing in music and consumer culture, explains the history of jingles. The trend was popularized in the Great Depression by the Pepsi-Cola jingle, but fell out of favor in the 1980’s when pop songs were used to promote national brands. However, jingles live on in regional and local ads.

“There's often a hardcore sales pitch wrapped up in a jingle,” Taylor explains, “So if you can make it memorable and fun to listen to, that sales pitch can go down pretty easily.”

  • Danny Cox, composer and performer of the Grass Pad jingles
  • Timothy Taylor, Professor of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, specializing in music and consumer culture
Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Eleanor Nash is an intern for KCUR's Up To Date. You can reach her at enash@kcur.org