Singer revives campaign for old client

Jingle vocalist Lee Montgomery went back to the future for his long-time client, the Stater Bros. Markets chain of Southern California. Asked to revive one of Stater Bros.’ old campaigns, the job wound up being 18 spots, nine spots each in English and Spanish.

Steve Wiebe of Wiebe Music arranged the music and the two co-produced and recorded at Wiebe’s studio. Montgomery both sang and voiced the spots, including the eight TV and one radio spot in Spanish. (He had learned Spanish by living in Guatemala for three years as a kid.)

Montgomery is one of Chicago’s most enduring jingle singers, beginning in the ’80s, and certainly its most popular. He recalled that he sang on 500 sessions during the first six months of 1985.

During his lengthy Chicago reign, he was known as “the food and beverage king.” His most memorable campaign was “Welcome to Miller Time,” and “I probably did more McDonald’s than anyone in the history of the planet,” he said.

In 1993, Montgomery and his wife, the vocalist and Michelle LeGrand soloist Laury Shelley, moved to L.A. His jingle career subsided during his five years there as he sang on TV and movie soundtracks, although Stater Bros. was a continuing client.

Montgomery and Shelley moved back to Chicago in 1998 and Montgomery took early retirement through SAG after 28 years with the union. “But I still work whenever I get a call,” he said.

Lee Montgomery can be reached at 312/437-4457.

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