“Jewelry is the gift to give cause it’s the gift that’ll live and live …”
Thousands of Oklahomans can finish the words to this popular holiday jingle that starts filling local radio and television airwaves each Thanksgiving Day. For many, the BC Clark Jewelers’ annual anniversary sale jingle signals the beginning of the Christmas season.
It’s doubtful anyone could have imagined its popularity when introduced in 1956, having been created at a cost of $300. Its success even caught local advertising executive Ray Ackerman of Ackerman McQueen by surprise.
Ackerman shared the story on YouTube, adding that the jingle had been running successfully for about five years when he suggested an update: The lyrics stayed the same with a change in music. By noon on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a very vocal public had heard enough. They wanted the original back — and within hours, it was.
Another change was made in 1977 when television commercials went from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. The original jingle was 35 seconds, so the last line — “The Christmas wish of BC Clark is to keep on pleasing you” — was deleted.
The missing line didn’t dim the jingle’s popularity. It has become a favorite ringtone for those living in and out of Oklahoma. It’s background music for holiday displays. Fans clamor to sing the jingle at open calls for television commercials. People can be heard humming it as they shop.
It’s considered one of the longest continuously running jingles in the United States, and some fans have said it should be the city’s official holiday song.
The jingle and its history have also been featured on national television. Actress and Oklahoma City native Megan Mullally sang the jingle on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2001. NBC Nightly News featured a story about the jingle in 2016, with a clip of Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton singing a well-known line and adding that he has heard the jingle since he was young. Closer to home, singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne, Oklahoma City native and “America’s Got Talent” winner, and her sidekick Petunia performed it at the company’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2017.
BC Clark Jewelers, now with three metro locations, was started in Purcell by Benton Clyde Clark Sr. In 1892, with leadership and growth continuing with his son B.C. Clark Jr. Today the third and fourth generations are at the helm of the family-owned business.
Though the jingle’s popularity is far-reaching, it’s only played on Oklahoma City local television and radio stations. It’s like getting an early Christmas present each year or a welcome hug from a treasured friend.
So, are there any plans to update or revise the jingle? “No, I can’t ever see it being changed,” said Mitchell Clark, executive vice president of BC Clark Jewelers.
And that is music to our ears.