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Rock ‘N’ Roll TV: Billy Joel’s radio commercial for ‘The Stranger’

Talk about support! When Billy Joel’s fifth album “The Stranger” hit in 1977, it became just that, a hit. A smash hit. It was so hot that Columbia Records (Joel’s label) ran commercials for the LP while it was setting sales records (it ended up being Columbia’s best selling album release). Usually, this series of mine pertains to television commercials. But, this fantastic radio spot below compelled me to bend my own rules. Check out this fantastic audio ad.

When was the last time you heard anything like that? Once upon a time, record labels supported their artists. When they went all out, you got a commercial like this one…smart, well produced, and friggin’ cool. Did the promotion help with the success of “The Stranger”? Well, when this spot hit the radio, the album had already sold three million copies. At the end of the album’s run, it moved more than 10 million units. I think the promotional push helped a little bit.

Play the commercial again and relive an amazing era.

Greg Simms Jr. is a veteran content creator and cultural expert who's worked for numerous digital publications over the years. He's a resident of Greene County, but he's always aware of social-cultural events happening all over the Miami Valley. To contact Greg, email him at: grgsmmsjr@gmail.com