When You Say . . . What?
Written by Jim Bartlett on June 15, 2015
“The Bud Song,” well known to everybody around these parts, began as one of the most famous advertising jingles in history, ending with “When you say Budweiser, you’ve said it all.” The original commercial was first broadcast sometime around 1970, and it wasn’t long before the song was adopted by college marching bands. The UW Marching Band has played it since 1972, although Georgia Tech claims its band played the song before then as a salute to its coach at the time, Bud Carson.
But do you know the history of the song beyond its marching band fame?
The original jingle was written by Steve Karmen, whose other credits include “Weekends were made for Michelob,” “Carry the big fresh flavor of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum,” “Sooner or later you’ll own Generals” (for General Tire), and “Nationwide [Insurance] is on your side.” The country songwriting team of Jerry Foster and Bill Rice turned the jingle into a full song under the title “When You Say Love.” Their song isn’t slavishly true to the jingle. In fact, if you didn’t know it was based directly on the Bud Song, you might chalk it up to coincidence.
In the late spring of 1972, Bob Luman took “When You Say Love” to #6 on the country charts. A few months later, Sonny and Cher cut a version of it. Their “When You Say Love” was released only as a single and charted in July. It peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 in August (and went Top 10 in Des Moines, for whatever that’s worth).
At the time Sonny and Cher charted with “When You Say Love,” their variety show was one of the biggest hits on TV, but it didn’t help their musical career too much. “When You Say Love” was their final Top 40 hit.
I guess they’d said it all.