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Light Crust Flour Commercial, no. 1

Daniel Redd

Sound | 1960s

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In this 1960s television commercial for Light Crust flour, a mother uses the product to bake her son a birthday cake from scratch. Light Crust Flour was a product of Fort Worth’s Burrus Mill and Elevator Company. Burrus Mill was once run by Texas Governor W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel (before his political career) and was responsible for organizing the Light Crust Doughboys, a Western swing band that launched the careers of Western swing legends Bob Wills and Milton Brown. Bert Rodriguez’s Dallas-based production company, Visual Presentations, produced the commercial. Rodriguez was also the producer of the Clio-Award-winning Old Home Bread commercials that introduced the world to C. W. McCall.
The Light Crust Doughboys is a long-running western swing band that originated in Saginaw, Texas in 1931. The band was formed by Bob Wills, a fiddler, with Herman Arnspiger on guitar and Milton Brown providing vocals. Formerly called the Wills Fiddle Band, the band changed their name when they began appearing on a radio show sponsored by Burris Mill and Elevator Company. The show advertised their Light Crust Flour, which is how the band got its name. They were broadcast across Texas and Oklahoma, and their record sales were the highest selling in the genre in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 
 
Despite quick success, the original members of the band did not remain for long, with Brown departing in 1932 and Wills following the next year. Over the years, new members came and went, and the band experienced the height of its popularity between 1935 until the start of World War II. Many band members enlisted during the war, and they never regained the level of popularity they previously experienced. The band continued performing sporadically with new members over the next few decades. In 1995, the Texas legislature named the Light Crust Doughboys the “official music ambassadors of the Lone Star State,” and they received several Grammy nominations as a result of collaborations with gospel singer James Blackwood. The group was inducted in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2006.