On Tuesday, David Israel introduced us to the people behind 10 famous disembodied voices. Today let's put names and faces to four more seemingly anonymous sounds.
Three little words paved the road to higher education for two young girls. Those words were, simply, "Ho-ho-ho." No, we're not talking about Santa Claus. We are speaking of the Jolly Green Giant, who was named by Advertising Age magazine as the third most recognizable advertising icon of the 20th century (after Tony the Tiger and the Marlboro Man). Baritone singer Elmer "Len" Dresslar, Jr. stepped into a Chicago recording studio in 1959, sang his "ho-ho-ho" and left. "I'm the king of minimalists," he would later say in an interview. Dresslar recorded 15 albums with the jazz group Singers Unlimited and appeared in a touring production of South Pacific. He also provided the voices for "Snap" of Rice Krispies fame, and Dig "˜Em frog. It was also his deep voice that admonished listeners "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer." But it was his Jolly Green Giant work that was beamed into households for 40-some years, earning him hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties every year. His elder daughter, Teri Bennett, said at the time of his death (at the age of 80) that her father never got tired of "ho-ho"-ing for fans. "If nothing else, it put my sister and I through college," she added.