During the 1980s and 1990s, OKC was deluged with numerous memorable commercials—many of which are still unparalleled today—from Tall Paul Auto Insurance to the Credit Jewelers cowboy. When I think back on it, however, few had a spokesperson that many Oklahoman’s remember with as much fondness and irritancy as Linda Soundtrak.
With a deafening appeal, in a time well before Best Buy or Circuit City, Linda Soundtrak mostly gained her local celeb-status by announcing the rock-bottom deals and insane low-prices in the beloved salespitches of the long-gone and much-missed Soundtrak home entertainment stores, often times in a comical-enough scenario where she was parodying a popular movie or taking some part in an area event.
Here are a couple of them in case you forgot…
She’s an indelible character that many in the forty-plus crowd will still champion to this day, with her various appearances still garnering news-worthy attention; as a matter of fact, Soundtrak recently made an appearance this past Saturday in Tulsa to benefit flood victims, which only goes to show that, even almost 30 years since that last commercial aired, her staying power is definite and divine.
A transplant from Alabama, Soundtrak (nee Verin) seems like such an unlikely Okie success story; with a classically attractive librarian demeanor and that voice that could set off a hundred car-alarms, I believe her oftentimes corny humor made us, as a people, seem somewhat at ease in not only dealing with the stress of a stereo-store but a type of occupation—the stereo-salesman—that, in the 80s, was almost as disliked as a used car seller. She was that free-spirited aunt who could save us money and make us laugh. Sort of.
While many of our family members would often times turn the volume down on the television—it was a joke in our house about her hooking-up with the “Sale! Sale! Saaaaaaaale!” guy from the Oklahoma Discount Furniture advertisements—her commercials were like audio-visual trading cards around town, with each new one a cause for impressionist comedy; for me, it was in Ms. Mann’s sixth-grade social studies class, the place where I tested most of my stolen comedy bits.
Sadly, with the rise and domination of the big-box store and, even worse, online retailers like Amazon, Soundtrak soon found herself out of a regular spokesperson job, reappearing here and there much to public delight, and then only to suddenly disappear again, remaining a local legend that people continue to—and will for many years—speculate and discuss ad nauseam.
Maybe sometime in the future she’ll be back in Oklahoma City, opening a new store, raising money for charity or, perhaps, running for governor and then, finally, this forty-year-old fan might get to shake her hand and take a picture, maybe even score an interview, even if the transcribing process will cause my eardrums to bleed.