He may not have been a household name, but more than one generation grew up singing one of his most famous ad jingles. The New York Times reports that Richard D. Trentlage, the man behind the Oscar Mayer Wiener commercial jingle that goes back to the ’60s, has died.
Trentlage reportedly died Sept. 21 in a hospital in Libertyville, Ill., of congestive heart failure. He was 87.
Trentlage wrote the “Oh, I’d love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener” jingle, whose lyrics are probably familiar to many readers. (You can watch a clip below from 1965.)
He also wrote well-known jingles for other companies, including “McDonald’s is your kind of place” and, for a National Safety Council seat belt promotion, “Buckle up for safety, buckle up,” sung to the tune of “Buckle Down, Winsocki.”
Trentlage reportedly wrote “The Oscar Mayer Wiener Song” in 1962 as an entry in a contest for a wiener jingle, completing the song in an hour. He said he was inspired by hearing his son make the comment: “I wish I could be a dirt-bike hot dog.”
The jingle debuted in 1963 and became Oscar Mayer’s signature advertising jingle, continuing to air until 2010.
Here’s a clip …