Rael Brook Shirts


In the 1950s Rael Brook shirts used to advertise on television with a very recognisable animation of dancing shirt and tails. Along with this we had a jingle that has affected more people than you would know becoming a part of pop culture in the mid 20th century. Below are some facts about the advertising campaign and you can listen to the theme yourself.

The Rael Brook Theme

Written by Johnny Johnston, the theme was devised when he met Harry Rael Brook who was just starting up his shirt business. 'I want to advertise on television and I want a jingle. I make shirts.' he said. Johnny said 'What's so special about your shirts?'. He said 'You don't have to iron them.'

So Johnny sat at his piano and played and sang these seven words - 'Rael Brook Toplin, the shirt you don't iron'.... repeated three times and then again in a changed key. Harry was delighted and said 'That's what I want, don't change anything', and they never did!

Inspiration to Ian Gillan

Ian Gillan (Singer with Deep Purple and Gillan) talking about his 1997 album entitled 'Toolbox'.

One of the titles that will stay on the album is the curious 'Dancing Nylon Shirt Part I and II'. This came originally from a poem that hangs on Ian's studio wall. "When I was a kid watching TV there used to be an advert for Rael Brook shirts. They had all these mad nylon shirts dancing on a line which inspired the poem and the lyrics. There's a story behind every song!"

XTC Lyrics

There are lyrics referring to Rael Brook shirts in the song 'Frivolous Tonight' by XTC, a major rock band from the 1980s. Click on the picture of XTC to view these lyrics.

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