How The ‘Maggi Maggi Maggi’ Advertisement Jingle Was Inspired By A 1949 Song, Film Companion

In 1948, Teresa Brewer was making her mark in New York, but still lacked a good agent who could help her career. The break she was hoping for happened on a night when she was singing at the Sawdust Trail, a night club off Times Square.

To improve business, the club manager would place a portable speaker next to the open door and, during the floor show, turn up the volume as much as the law would allow. On one such night, agent Ritchie Lisella heard the sounds of Teresa Brewer on the sidewalk speaker and continued inside for a closer look and listen. By the time Lisella left the club that night, he and Teresa had signed a contract.

Teresa was soon signed with London Records, then a fledgling label from England attempting to enter the American music market. After the release of three singles that went virtually unnoticed, Teresa recorded “Copenhagen” (a jazz standard) in late 1949 with the Dixieland All Stars. London considered the flip side a throw-away song – a song titled “Music Music Music”, by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum. The B-side song eventually went gold, selling over a million copies – and, of course, became Teresa’s signature title.

Here is that song, by Teresa Brewer.

Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum wrote “Music! Music! Music!” (also called, “Put Another Nickel In”) in 1949.

The first artist to record it was Etienne Paree, featuring Eddie Miller on the piano, in the same year.

Billboard magazine wrote about the song: “Cute novelty ditty with an infectious idea is lent an unusual and not completely successful treatment in the use of a sing-talk vocal with French dialect set against Miller’s pianoing.”

Several other well-known artists have recorded the song. Petula Clark’s version:

Bing Crosby’s version:

And an instrumental version by Bill Haley & His Comets:

Even Ray Charles created an instrumental version!

Now that you have heard 6 different versions of this song, you may have already guessed the Indian version! Yes, the Maggi advertisement jingle which replaces ‘Music Music Music’ with ‘Maggi Maggi Maggi’.

Nestle’s Maggi is in news all over again with front-page ads and talking about its famous and memorable jingle in India seemed topical at this point. But here’s the point – international brands like Nestle and reputed advertising agencies generally do not simply lift popular tunes for their ads. They go through the grind to get the rights to the tune and pay the necessary royalty. That’s the biggest difference between how they handle inspiration (cover versions) and how Indian film music industry does.

Here are some of the famous Maggi ads from the 80s that carried this tune – it’s a wonderful blast from the Doordarshan past!


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