“I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING in perfect harmony” was the New Seekers biggest hit. How the song emerged from a jingle is an industry first and a fascinating story.
The New Seekers were contracted to do a series of radio jingles for Coca Cola in the U.S The jingles were played on various radio stations across America.
The public reaction to one particular jingle was way beyond anyone’s expectations and the executives at Electra, our record company, were quick to want to capitalise on it’s popularity, … as was Coca Cola.
Naturally we were happy to oblige.so on the strength of the jingle, they wanted us to rush release the record in time for Christmas.
The only problem was that a full length version of the song hadn’t been written.
The writers, Cook, Greenaway, Backer and Davis got together, changed and added a few lyrics and thrashed out the full length version in a couple of hours.
There was still another small hitch, and that was our record producer Dave Mackay was in London.
Remember in those days there was no internet and things had to be done by ‘snail mail’.
To solve the problem of the 3 thousand mile separation , Dave decided to use the backtrack of the one minute Jingle and copy it three times, – simple! He spliced it together manually of course, and lo and behold there was the 3 minute backtrack to ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing‘, ready for us to put the vocals on.
Dave Mackay, with back track in hand, got on the next available flight to New York , where a studio had been booked.
We flew in from Idaho after a late night performance, learning the lyrics on the flight
We arrived at the studio with precious little sleep, drowned ourselves in coffee and got to work.-what it is to be young!
NONE OF US COULD HAVE IMAGINED THAT THIS SIMPLE DITTY – WOULD BE SO SUCCESSFUL AND END UP BEING THE GENTLE PEACE ANTHEM OF THE 70’S
The record sold 7.5 million copies and was number one in most countries around the world.
Coke wanted to feature us singing in their “Teach the World to Sing ” advert which was to be filmed on a mountain top in Italy with many people from different nationalities surrounding us.
Unfortunately our management had booked us to appear at another venue the day of the filming and were unable to extricate us from the contract.
Coca Cola decided to used our jingle in the advert and have actors miming to our vocals. So now you know the story of the most famous “The Coke Jingle “
Although the song is somewhat dated the sentiment was right then and still applies to the troubled world today.