Show Business: Mirror, Mirror, on the Tube

TV jingles tell Americans they're lookin 'good

Gustav Mahler may be as unfamiliar to one chunk of the population as Blue Oyster Cult is to another, but practically everybody knows what beer weekends-were-made-for and which hamburger hawkers will do-it-all-for-you. In an age of increasingly fractionated audiences for radio and records, and of a dozen or so subdivisions just within rock, jingles selling products may be America's only truly popular, all-embracing music.

They are also a short, sharp insight into the temper of the times, a compressed cultural iconography. It was plain that the sexual...

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