The Legend-News

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Monday, 2001 August 27 : Volume 4, Number 18

What We Got Here

The Regular Highway: C.W. McCall Tour 2002, a videotape of the first Old Home Bread commercial, and "Convoy" on CD (again).
Old Home Café: production continues on the filming of commercials 10, 11 and 12.
Song A’ Th’ Week: a long way from Tipperary: "Oregon Trail".

The Regular Highway
Really important stuff

The C.W. McCall Tour 2002 is being planned for a long weekend over the sixth of June 2002. The tour will be a whirlwind visit to many of the Iowa and Nebraska sites that have been mentioned in the songs of Our Favorite Singer. Information about the Tour will be posted on its own page. If you would like to be updated on the status of the Tour, send a message to tour_2002@techren.net and we'll add you to our list.

Alan Chafin has scored a coup, a videotape of the first Old Home Bread commercial with C.W. McCall. This one-minute commercial (which we described in the previous edition of The Legend-News) features Jim Finlayson as C.W., Jeannie Capps as Mavis, and Bill Fries as the voice of C.W. McCall walking his way through "Old Home Is Good Buns". If you'd like a copy of the commercial on VHS tape, Alan is providing them at cost. Send US$2.50 to T A Chafin, 4753A Westland Blvd, Arbutus, MD 21227-1332. If you'd like to help Alan defray the cost of acquiring the commercial (it wasn't free), send him another buck or two.

KC The Stealth Fan, who has been providing us with newspaper articles that you've been reading about in the Old Home Café section, has again sent to us a mysterious package, but this time he/she has sent a videotape of the commercials that Time Life is using to sell Country Classics: Great Story Songs. These commercials, which David Frederick brought to our attention a few weeks ago, are a compilation of country songs with a tale, "…including the all-time trucker classic, 'CONVOY'". The two-CD set is available on Time Life's web site, or you could just watch cable television until the commercial rolls around.


Old Home Café

Another story from the pile of articles which was sent to us by K.C. the Mystery Critter. We're not certain of the newspaper in which this story was published; it was probably not the Des Moines Register. The events herein occurred in 1976. [All typographic errors have been accurately reproduced. — Ed.]

Pisgah: Scene of Romance For C.W. McCall Commercials

[Editor's note: this is the second in a series of two stories about the recent filming of Metz Baking Co. commercials at Pisgah featuring C.W. McCall and Mavis.]

[Ed.'s note: Part One was published in the 13 August 2001 edition of The Legend-News — Ed.]

Jim Finlayson puts too much into the scene

The directory tells C.W. McCall [Jim Finlayson of Tyler, Texas] he is putting "too much into the scene" [above]. Finlayson starts to laugh and the directors cuts the scene whereupon the "hottest love story in television commercials" C.W. and Mavis [below] break from the action and relax until the next "take".

Finlayson and Capps wait for the next take

C.W. McCall and Mavis were in Pisgah two weeks ago filming three commercials to be released for the Metz Baking Co.

The commercials are filmed for Bozell and Jacobs Advertising Agency in Omaha of whom Bill Fries (who works and sang the hit song "Convoy" using the name C.W. McCall) is an executive.

The three 60-second commercials were to be filmed entirely at Pisgah and included some local people.

It was not the first visit to Pisgah nor the first time Pisgah area residents were used in the commercials.

THREE COMMERCIALS

One of the three commercials involves a romance between C.W. McCall's dog Sloan and a local dog called the Poodle from Pisgah.

The two dogs are trained by a woman named "Sarah" and are not really "local" dogs. Sarah also is from Texas, according to Dan Levitan, assistant director of the porject.

Dan Levitan, assistant director

Dan Levitan, assistant director.

The second commercial has C.W. McCall and Mavis in the Old Home Filler Up and Keep On Truckin' Café (formerly Hinkel's Café owned by Mr. and Mrs. Darolyd (Phyllis) Hinkel and the F.E. Miller Store across the street. In that commercial C.W. buys a ring for Mavis at Miller's Store sold to them by who else but Francis Miller.

The third commercial introduces a new character to the commercials and the opportunity for possible romance in the future, according to Levitan.

The new character is B.Q. (whose wife said B.Q. stands for be quiet) the father of C.W. He is played by Leo Alton of Pisgah.

In that commercial, B.Q. is riding with his son C.W. in the truck when they stop at the cafe where Mama and Mavis are working. B.Q., eating a donut without his teeth, is introduced to Mama.

THE CAST

"Stars" of the commercials working on the set included C.W. McCall played by Jim Finlayson of Tyler, Texas; (the voice of Bill Fries is heard in the commercials. Fries used the nam C.W. McCall for his smash hit "Convoy"); Mavis played by Jeannie Capps of Dallas, Texas; Mama played by Dorothy Forster of Wicheta Falls, Texas; and the newest addition to the cast, C.W.'s father called B.Q. (it stands for Be Quiet, according to his wife) played by Leo Alton of Pisgah.

The crew includes director Burt Rodrigez and assistance director Don Levitan as well as a cameraman, assistant cameraman and two other assistants.

Director Burt Rodrigez

Director Burt Rodrigez checks camera angel while head cameraman (in checked shirt) looks at lighting situation.

Cameraman's assistant

Cameraman's assistant

The group was very well received in Pisgah. Both the cast and crew as well as residents of Pisgah expressed themselves on the hospitality offered and the genuine "down-to-earth" personalities of the stars of the commercials.

In fact, last year Dorothy Forster (Mama) sold a book she had written. It was on sale at Miller's store and was called "Dishpan Dreams", a collections of poems.

LAST VISIT

The last time the crew came to Pisgah was in October, 1974. At that time they filmed three commercials: one was a firemens ball in which many local residents were used.

Waiting for action

Assistant cameraman waits for "action" call and cameras to roll. In background is Bill Galney, the former truck driver who drives the semi in the commercials on long distance shots.

Another was when C.W.'s truck became stuck in the mud at Ute. Actually it became stuck in the mud just outside Pisgah, and four local residents were used in one scene where Mama receives a call to come and tow C.W.'s truck back to the cafe. Four residents were drinking coffe at the counter of the cafe: Darolyd Hinkel, Bryon Swain, Leo Alton and Francis Miller.

The third commercial was a fishing scene filmed five miles northwest of Pisgah at a pond.

In 1974 the cast and crew also stayed five days for filming of the 60-second commercials.

FINISHING TOUCHES

After the crew finished filming this year, the cast and production crew return to Dallas. Levitan said the group is "the remains" of the original company which worked on the original set of commercials at the Image House of Dallas. The original three commercials were filmed entirely in Texas. The present set of commercials filmed two weeks ago are the 10th, 11th and 12th commercials for the Bozell and Jacobs' account of Metz.

The Image House group worked with Fries on the original commercials in the concept stage.

By the time the second set of commercials rolled around, Roderigez and Levitan shot the interior scenes in Dallas but all exterior scenes were filed in Pisgah, Levitan said. And third set of three commercials were filmed entirely at Pisgah as well as the most recent set.

Fries still writes all the songs for the commercials Levitan said.

FINAL STAGE

Once the cast and crew return to Dallas, they finish the processing (filming and processing take about six weeks).

The client then will see the films for the first time June 12 in Dallas, Levitan said, where the picture and sound are still separated (not all on the same tape).

C.W. and Mavis not in action.

Mavis and C.W. wait.

Bozell and Jacobs will receive the commercials, and they will be sent to California for videotaping, Levitan said.

By late June they are expected to be ready for television, and then it is a matter of when the Bozell and Jacobs schedules them for television. Levitan said that it will probably be late June.


Song A’ Th’ Week

In June 2001, the route which I drove for Convoy 2000 was over 7,000 miles in fourteen days. The length of the Oregon Trail was only 2,000 miles, but the trip from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean could take five months. And those travellers didn't have convenient water supplies, or TA Travel Centers, or motels.

Oregon Trail
(C.W. McCall, B. Fries, C. Davis)

Did you see me at Westport Landing
On the wide Missouri shore?
Did you hear the west wind calling
In the spring of forty-four?

[Chorus]
If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May
If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May

Did you see me at old Fort Kearny?
Did you hear my trumpets blow?
Did you write your name in stone, boys
On the great Platte River road?

[Chorus]
If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June
If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June

Did you see that endless prairie
Blowin' clean and pure and free?
Did you hear that rollin' thunder
On the wild Nebraska sea?

Did you climb the shining mountains?
Did you cross that Great Divide?
Did you pray to God Almighty
To let you down the other side?

[Chorus, but only by C.W.]
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home

Did you see me out on the desert?
Did you see my oxen die?
Did you find a drop of water?
Did you hear my children cry?

[Chorus]
If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July
If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July

Did you see the high Sierra
Far beyond the burning sand?
Did you find that golden valley?
Did you reach the Promised Land?

[Chorus]
If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die
If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die


The Legend-News is Copyright 2001 TechRen Enterprises. Old Home Is Good Buns. Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music.