SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
Gayle Hill (Jingle Belle)
Just three years after she took her first job on Music Row as producer Glenn Sutton’s Girl Friday, Gayle Hill rocketed to advertising superstardom by producing Dottie West’s now fabled “Country Sunshine” jingle for Coca Cola. It was the beginning of a roll for Hill that integrated country music with national advertisers at a level of prominence never achieved before. Apart from West, Hill also hired many other stars for the Coke account, including Loretta Lynn, Sonny James and the Glaser Brothers.
Hill went to work for Sutton in 1970, when he was producing acts for Epic Records. “When I went into the studio with Glenn,” she says, “it sparked an instant love affair with the recording process.”
In 1973, she formed G Hill & Company, initially a PR agency that produced jingles on the side. “At first, I thought I would starve. Then Coca Cola called me.” After that, she became a go-to jingle producer for GMC, Miller Beer, Kraft, Rubbermaid, Stouffer’s, Pizza Hut and Mellon Bank, among many others.
Hill’s ability to link national advertisers with country artists and music earned her executive positions on the boards of the CMA and NARAS (now the Recording Academy). She remained in the thick of advertising until she began noticing she was working with people half her age and having far less joy doing it. “I didn’t quit cold turkey. I just kind of phased out. In our business, you either leave it or it leaves you.”