See Wareham’s Geena Davis in a Vintage ’80s Summer Music Ad
We’ve told you before about Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis coming from humble beginnings right here on the SouthCoast, born and raised in Wareham before ending up in Hollywood with a movie and television career that is now in its fifth decade.
Before she was appearing on the silver screen in films like Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own, Davis was a successful model.
Another Wareham native, Jay Harper – an amateur historian of all things from the Gateway – recently shared with us a Reddit find that is a throwback not only to Davis’s modeling career, but also to some of the fun summer sounds of the early 1980s.
“Cool off this summer with a red hot cassette on sale from A&M,” the ad reads, with a bathing suit-clad Geena Davis standing among large blocks of ice, Walkman in hand and headphones over her ears.
The ad touts an eclectic mix of artists, starting with trumpeter Herb Albert; it’s no surprise he gets top billing, since he’s literally the “A” in “A&M,” which had formerly been known as “A&M Records” but appeared to all in on the latest music technology, changing its moniker to “A&M Cassettes.” There was a great documentary released last year on EPIX titled Mr. A & Mr. M: The Story of A&M Records that told the entire history of the label.
Other artists mentioned include The Carpenters, The Go-Go’s, Quincy Jones, Cat Stevens, Styx, Chuck Mangione, and Supertramp. There’s also Janet Jackson and Joe Jackson (no relation), southern rockers .38 Special, Danny Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo, one-hit wonders Wall of Voodoo (remember “Mexican Radio?”), New Wave bands like Squeeze, The English Beat, The Human League, and The Police.
The compilation album Dance2It, Vol. 1 was released in May of 1982, so it’s a safe bet that based on that release and some of the other artists listed that this was touting the music of the Summer of 1982. Just a few months later, in December of 1982, Geena Davis got her big break with a role in the film Tootsie, and the following summer, she had a regular role in the TV series Buffalo Bill.
This ad might be the last bit of modeling Davis did before becoming a big-time actress, but the indelible image and all of that great summer music are still with us 40 years later.