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"SEE" 2002 Obituary


SEEGER  SEELEY 

SEEGER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-26 published
Folk singer, ad man penned lyrics
Travellers founder, political backroomer, rewrote This Land with a Canadian twist
By Charles MANDEL Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, November 26, 2002 -- Page R11
Wordsmith and marketing executive Jerry GOODIS, as well-known for his advertising slogans as for rewriting This Land Is Our Land for the landmark folk group The Travellers, has died at age 73.
Mr. GOODIS's facility with words ranged from the nationalistic pride of the folksong's lyrics, to the crassly commercial but nonetheless equally memorable Harvey's Makes Your Hamburger a Beautiful Thing. "His forte was the spoken word," said Jerry GRAY/GREY, a life-long friend of Mr. GOODIS's. "He could sell anything to anybody, as happened later in the advertising business."
A jazz fan who loved the music of Stan KENTON and Woody HERMAN, Mr. GOODIS was the son of a union organizer/tailor in Toronto's garment district. He studied art at the city's Central Technical High School, but gained his real education through the Communist-leaning United Jewish People's Order to which both his and Mr. GRAY/GREY's parents belonged.
In the early 1950s, both Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY sang in the United Jewish People's Order's youth choir, a group of some 18 kids that would travel around Ontario and sing folk music and labour songs on picket lines. The youngsters spent summers at the United Jewish People's Order's camp, Naivelt, northwest of Toronto, where they'd sing songs and swap stories at informal hootenannies. The mother of Zal YANOVSKY -- he would go on to fame as the Loving Spoonful's guitarist -- acted as camp director, and renowned American folksinger Pete SEEGER was a frequent visitor. "It was a cauldron of folk music," Mr. GRAY/GREY recalled.
In 1953, Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY, along with Gray's sister Helen, Sid DOLGAY and Oscar ROSS formed The Travellers, drawing inspiration from Mr. SEEGER and his group, The Weavers. According to authors Ted and Alex BARRIS in their book, Making Music, when The Travellers made their debut at the United Jewish People's Order's national convention in 1953, "they sang their complete repertoire of three songs, and when the audience called for more, they sang all three songs again."
In 1954, Mr. SEEGER told The Travellers they might as well rewrite Woody GUTHRIE's classic anthem to America, This Land Is Our Land, because no one south of the border could hear it at the time. Mr. GUTHRIE, Mr. SEEGER and others were under investigation as Communists and radio stations had blacklisted their music. At a house party, Mr. GOODIS and the others began playing around with the lyrics, first writing "from Newfoundland to the Vancouver Island." The group changed the song to its better-known version ("from Bonavista to the Vancouver Island") in time for a talent-hunt show on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-Television called Pick the Stars.
The Travellers sang This Land Is Our Land on the show and the letters of acclaim from viewers poured in. In the following decade, the song became such a huge hit that when singers like Peter, Paul and Mary or the Kingston Trio came to Canada, they'd launch into the American version and then look puzzled when Canadian audiences began jeering them. "The song lives on," Mr. GRAY/GREY said. "It's The Travellers' signature song and has been since those early days."
Mr. GOODIS recorded Across Canada With The Travellers and The Travellers Sing Songs of North America with the band. Despite the group's growing fame, Mr. GOODIS remained modest about his role. His son David remembers that Mr. GOODIS would always joke he lacked talent.
"He couldn't sing, but he started the group so they couldn't kick him out," David said. "That was the line he always used to use."
As it turned out, nobody pushed Mr. GOODIS from the band. He quit in 1961 to form an ad agency that would become Goodis Goldberg Soren and go on to create some of the catchiest product slogans around. As Mr. GOODIS avidly pursued singing, he'd also fostered an equal interest in advertising. While working at his first job, cutting stencils for mimeograph machines, Mr. Goodis hit on the idea of starting a direct-mail company. With his friend and later-to-be fellow Traveller Oscar ROSS, they began Rosgood Advertising.
"We used to say, let's do it even though we're not going to make money. But we'll get samples. But we never got very far with those samples," Mr. ROSS said.
Mr. GOODIS managed advertising for a Toronto jewellery-store chain and did a catalogue for a children's-wear distributor, but it was while singing for The Travellers that he met his future ad-agency partner. Sam GOLDBERG worked as the group's music director and manager, but like Goodis he saw a future in advertising. Carl DAIR, a graphic designer, joined them, but ultimately their third partner was Al SOREN.
Their first break came when they landed the account for Hush Puppies, a then-unknown brand of shoe. They had $7,000 to launch the campaign, so for $900 the agency created a 20-second television commercial featuring a basset hound. The unlikely ad sparked sales and the accounts rolled in. The Canadian Encyclopedia reports that the firm's billings quickly reached $30-million.
Mr. GOODIS is widely credited for creating such slogans as, "We care about the shape you're in" for Wonderbra, and, "At Speedy, you're a somebody" for Speedy Muffler King. However, his colleagues said copywriters and art directors actually penned the lines. Doug LINTON, who worked as a creative director at Goodis Goldberg Soren, said Mr. GOODIS critiqued advertising brilliantly and encouraged creative thought. "He convinced the captains of industry, the people who purchased advertising, that they could make money by doing advertising that had some wit and artistry about it."
Politics also attracted Mr. GOODIS. In 1968, he attended the Liberal Party convention and came back excited over the prospects of a rising star who might one day become prime minister, Pierre TRUDEAU. " From then on, whenever election time was getting close, my dad would immerse himself in that," David GOODIS remembered. Along with Senator Keith DAVEY, Mr. GOODIS became one of Prime Minister Trudeau's most trusted re-election team members.
After leaving advertising, Mr. GOODIS founded The Jerry Goodis Business Education Group and helped set up programs for young entrepreneurs at several universities and colleges. As late as 1998, Hamilton's McMaster University hired him to help rebrand the educational institution.
After a lifetime in Toronto, Mr. GOODIS moved to Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, where he entered semi-retirement. In the last couple of years of his life, according to Mr. GRAY/GREY, Mr. GOODIS reunited with The Travellers, helping with publicity around a National Film Board production on the band. "I think in his later years," Mr. GRAY/GREY said, "he began to appreciate the value the Travellers had on the Canadian psyche. In many ways, he may have forgotten his roots and in later years when he wasn't doing as much in the business world, he loved what The Travellers were doing and loved the part he played. After all, he's the founder."
Mr. GOODIS died of cancer on Nov. 8. He leaves his third wife, Joyce SEIDEL- GOODIS of Harrison Hot Springs, and children Leslie, David and Noah.

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SEEGER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-26 published
Folk singer, ad man penned lyrics
Travellers founder, political backroomer, rewrote This Land with a Canadian twist
By Charles MANDEL Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, November 26, 2002 -- Page R11
Wordsmith and marketing executive Jerry GOODIS, as well-known for his advertising slogans as for rewriting This Land Is Our Land for the landmark folk group The Travellers, has died at age 73.
Mr. GOODIS's facility with words ranged from the nationalistic pride of the folksong's lyrics, to the crassly commercial but nonetheless equally memorable Harvey's Makes Your Hamburger a Beautiful Thing. "His forte was the spoken word," said Jerry GRAY/GREY, a life-long friend of Mr. GOODIS's. "He could sell anything to anybody, as happened later in the advertising business."
A jazz fan who loved the music of Stan KENTON and Woody HERMAN, Mr. GOODIS was the son of a union organizer/tailor in Toronto's garment district. He studied art at the city's Central Technical High School, but gained his real education through the Communist-leaning United Jewish People's Order to which both his and Mr. GRAY/GREY's parents belonged.
In the early 1950s, both Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY sang in the United Jewish People's Order's youth choir, a group of some 18 kids that would travel around Ontario and sing folk music and labour songs on picket lines. The youngsters spent summers at the United Jewish People's Order's camp, Naivelt, northwest of Toronto, where they'd sing songs and swap stories at informal hootenannies. The mother of Zal YANOVSKY -- he would go on to fame as the Loving Spoonful's guitarist -- acted as camp director, and renowned American folksinger Pete SEEGER was a frequent visitor. "It was a cauldron of folk music," Mr. GRAY/GREY recalled.
In 1953, Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY, along with Gray's sister Helen, Sid DOLGAY and Oscar ROSS formed The Travellers, drawing inspiration from Mr. SEEGER and his group, The Weavers. According to authors Ted and Alex BARRIS in their book, Making Music, when The Travellers made their debut at the United Jewish People's Order's national convention in 1953, "they sang their complete repertoire of three songs, and when the audience called for more, they sang all three songs again."
In 1954, Mr. SEEGER told The Travellers they might as well rewrite Woody GUTHRIE's classic anthem to America, This Land Is Our Land, because no one south of the border could hear it at the time. Mr. GUTHRIE, Mr. SEEGER and others were under investigation as Communists and radio stations had blacklisted their music. At a house party, Mr. GOODIS and the others began playing around with the lyrics, first writing "from Newfoundland to the Vancouver Island." The group changed the song to its better-known version ("from Bonavista to the Vancouver Island") in time for a talent-hunt show on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-Television called Pick the Stars.
The Travellers sang This Land Is Our Land on the show and the letters of acclaim from viewers poured in. In the following decade, the song became such a huge hit that when singers like Peter, Paul and Mary or the Kingston Trio came to Canada, they'd launch into the American version and then look puzzled when Canadian audiences began jeering them. "The song lives on," Mr. GRAY/GREY said. "It's The Travellers' signature song and has been since those early days."
Mr. GOODIS recorded Across Canada With The Travellers and The Travellers Sing Songs of North America with the band. Despite the group's growing fame, Mr. GOODIS remained modest about his role. His son David remembers that Mr. GOODIS would always joke he lacked talent.
"He couldn't sing, but he started the group so they couldn't kick him out," David said. "That was the line he always used to use."
As it turned out, nobody pushed Mr. GOODIS from the band. He quit in 1961 to form an ad agency that would become Goodis Goldberg Soren and go on to create some of the catchiest product slogans around. As Mr. GOODIS avidly pursued singing, he'd also fostered an equal interest in advertising. While working at his first job, cutting stencils for mimeograph machines, Mr. Goodis hit on the idea of starting a direct-mail company. With his friend and later-to-be fellow Traveller Oscar ROSS, they began Rosgood Advertising.
"We used to say, let's do it even though we're not going to make money. But we'll get samples. But we never got very far with those samples," Mr. ROSS said.
Mr. GOODIS managed advertising for a Toronto jewellery-store chain and did a catalogue for a children's-wear distributor, but it was while singing for The Travellers that he met his future ad-agency partner. Sam GOLDBERG worked as the group's music director and manager, but like Goodis he saw a future in advertising. Carl DAIR, a graphic designer, joined them, but ultimately their third partner was Al SOREN.
Their first break came when they landed the account for Hush Puppies, a then-unknown brand of shoe. They had $7,000 to launch the campaign, so for $900 the agency created a 20-second television commercial featuring a basset hound. The unlikely ad sparked sales and the accounts rolled in. The Canadian Encyclopedia reports that the firm's billings quickly reached $30-million.
Mr. GOODIS is widely credited for creating such slogans as, "We care about the shape you're in" for Wonderbra, and, "At Speedy, you're a somebody" for Speedy Muffler King. However, his colleagues said copywriters and art directors actually penned the lines. Doug LINTON, who worked as a creative director at Goodis Goldberg Soren, said Mr. GOODIS critiqued advertising brilliantly and encouraged creative thought. "He convinced the captains of industry, the people who purchased advertising, that they could make money by doing advertising that had some wit and artistry about it."
Politics also attracted Mr. GOODIS. In 1968, he attended the Liberal Party convention and came back excited over the prospects of a rising star who might one day become prime minister, Pierre TRUDEAU. " From then on, whenever election time was getting close, my dad would immerse himself in that," David GOODIS remembered. Along with Senator Keith DAVEY, Mr. GOODIS became one of Prime Minister Trudeau's most trusted re-election team members.
After leaving advertising, Mr. GOODIS founded The Jerry Goodis Business Education Group and helped set up programs for young entrepreneurs at several universities and colleges. As late as 1998, Hamilton's McMaster University hired him to help rebrand the educational institution.
After a lifetime in Toronto, Mr. GOODIS moved to Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, where he entered semi-retirement. In the last couple of years of his life, according to Mr. GRAY/GREY, Mr. GOODIS reunited with The Travellers, helping with publicity around a National Film Board production on the band. "I think in his later years," Mr. GRAY/GREY said, "he began to appreciate the value the Travellers had on the Canadian psyche. In many ways, he may have forgotten his roots and in later years when he wasn't doing as much in the business world, he loved what The Travellers were doing and loved the part he played. After all, he's the founder."
Mr. GOODIS died of cancer on Nov. 8. He leaves his third wife, Joyce SEIDEL- GOODIS of Harrison Hot Springs, and children Leslie, David and Noah.

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SEELEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-11-20 published
SEELEY- JONES, Desmond -- Peacefully at home on Sunday, November 17, 2002 surrounded by his family. Beloved husband of Virginia PETEHERYCH. Loving father of Lorna RUMSEY and the late Philip SEELEY- JONES. Survived by his grandchildren Emma and Daniel in England. Desmond will be sadly missed by many other relatives and Friends. Friends may call at the Turner and Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke (between Islington and Kipling Aves.) from 6 p.m. until time of Service of Remembrance in the chapel at 7 o'clock on Thursday, November 21, 2002. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, remembrances to the Dorothy Ley Hospice would be appreciated by the family.

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