When Alligator Jack heard the jingle he said, “Gay-ree that you song you did for me is funkier than 10 yards of damp zoo dirt!” And then he started to laugh..Heh-heh-heh.

If I live to be 200 I will never meet another person the likes of Alligator Jack.

The Alligator had a successful barbecue restaurant on the South Side of Chicago. After being robbed 18 times over the course of five years the Alligator had enough so he moved out to what he called,“God’s Country,” aka South Dakota, to start all over again.

I was driving down Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls when I first saw the Alligator. He was standing in front of his newly opened Barbecue Joint with a basketball under his arm giving instructions to the sign painter who was painting “Alligator Jack’s

Down Home Barbecue” on the window.

I decided to stop by and talk to the new owner to see if they needed a jingle. Eventually, I asked him how he got the name, Alligator Jack. That was all he needed and he was off and rolling on one of his stories.

“I was born down in Mississippi in the Delta by the swamp, heh-heh-heh and my Momma she was carryin me, about 8 months pregnant.Heh-Heh. Her and my Daddy they was driving the buckboard along side the swamp and this big ole alligator walks right across the road in front of the buckboard and my Daddy, he stops the buckboard and says, ‘If this child is a boy, we’re going to name him Alligator Jack.’ Heh-Heh-Heh.”

Well, Jack was from Mississippi and his barbecue was great. He made his sauce from sugar cane. People loved it. I helped him market his barbecue sauce and restaurant and we became the best of friends. He was a character.

The Alligator weighed somewhere between 300 and 350. He turned everything into an outlandish story and then he laughed and laughed and laughed.

I had a big jingle project coming up in LA and decided to give the Alligator a little surprise. I went ahead and wrote a jingle for him which I recorded at the same time as the other project. It was a pro bono jingle. I didn’t charge the Alligator for the jingle cause I really liked him and I just wanted to do it.

The song was a swamp funk kind of thing. We had an Aretha Franklin type vocal and George Doering played guitar and he just wailed on it. It was swampy funky:

ALLIGATOR JACK JINGLE

Early in the morning when the kids are goin to scoo

Alligator Jack is making Down Home Barbecue

Later  in the evening when the day is almost throo

Alligator Jack’s still making Down Home Barbecue

Alligator, Alligator, Alligator Jack

They say that once you taste it that you know you’re coming bank

Alligator, Alligator, Alligator Jack

They say that once you taste it that you know you’re coming bank

When Alligator Jack heard the jingle for the first time he was really moved. He had tears in his eyes as he looked up at me and said, “Gay-ree that you song you did for me is funkier than 10 yards of damp zoo dirt!” And then he started to laugh..Heh-heh-heh.

Of all the projects I’ve ever done this “freebie” Alligator Jack jingle was probably the most rewarding. All copies of the jingle are long gone but a few years ago I did a Blues recording based on the jingle entitled, “Alligator Jack’s Blues”

Click here to give it a listen Alligator Jack

The Tenor Solo was played by Lon Price

The guitar solo was played by Michael Thompson:

Gary Michaels is the Founder/Executive Producer of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online. Since entering the Brand Syndication field in 1980 he has produced Syndicated Branding Campaigns for over 5,000 local and regional advertisers throughout the US, Canada,New Zealand and Australia. (Alligator Photo by Thinkstock-Lon Price and Michael Thompson Photos by Paul Landry)

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About garymichaelsonline

Los Angeles Music & Brand Syndication Producer. Founder of MTI Studios and Gary Michaels Online.Studied Music Composition at the University of North Texas. Worked as staff Music Arranger/Composer at Columbia Screen Gems Music Publishing. Worked as jingle writer and producer with Rod McBrien Productions in New York.
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