Is there anything more iconic in coffee than the Folgers jingle? Perhaps even more well-known than even Juan Valdez, “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up” is one of the most recognizable pieces of coffee ephemera; it’s almost impossible to hear the first half of the nearly 40-year-old jingle without singing the second half to yourself. And it just sold for a cool $90,500.
We’re not talking about “owning” some non-fungible version of the jingle propped up by a questionable technocurrency likely to be crushed by one or more global governments in the next three to five years. The real, actual song was just sold, sweet, sweet royalties and all.
Originally created in 1984 by Bill Vernick, Susan Spiegel Solovay (who is maybe a “life coach and medical hypnotist” now), and Leslie Pearl, a singer-songwriter who has penned songs for the likes of Kenny Rogers and Karen Carpenter, “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up” is inarguably the best thing Folgers has ever put out. It has become so engrained in the cultural zeitgeist that it has been covered and rearranged by Randy Travis, Kiss’s Paul Stanley, and the Queen of Soul herself Aretha Franklin; Folgers even has a yearly competition to find the best new interpretation.
And every time that jingle gets remade or played publicly—”Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, TV/Film/Commercial Performances, etc.”—the owner of the royalties gets a cut. Per Royalty Exchange, the site holding the auction, the jingle netted the royal holder nearly $12,000 in the last year alone. And now that’s all going to new owner Josh C. (The highest bidder used to be Martin S. and we had a whole story about “Did Martin Shkreli Just Buy The Folgers Jingle?” lined up full of wild speculation and conjecture, but Josh C. ruined that because he doesn’t want you to have any fun on a Friday.)
With royalties to be paid out quarterly, ole Josh Destroyer of Fun should see a profit on his investment in the next eight years, based on the earnings from the prior two.
So the next time you hear “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up,” know that someone is getting paid for it.