Aired on Treasure Island OldiesFeb 25, 2024

Advertising executive, Hal Riney, ranks #30 on the Advertising Age list of the Top 100 people of the 20th century. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2001.

In the late 60s he was approached by a bank in the United States to reposition it in order to attract younger people who were beginning their journeys in life.


According to Riney, after meeting with the president of the Crocker National Bank, he suggested that they go out and get a bunch of songwriters to write a song about young people and their lives. Riney then said he would use it as the foundation for a TV commercial.

Riney ended up commissioning Paul Williams (lyrics) and Roger Nichols (music) who came up with a song that played over footage of a couple getting married and just starting out. The message was simply, “You’ve got a long way to go. We’d like to help you get there.”

In an interview, Riney confirms that the commercial turned out to be very popular, but it attracted customers in which the bank was not interested: young adult customers with no collateral for loans.

Crocker eventually suspended the advertising campaign. However, the financial institution was most successful in franchising it to other banks throughout the U.S.

After watching the TV commercial, a member of an up-and-coming duo  ran into Williams at the offices of A&M Records, the label they were both under contract with. He asked Williams if a full length version was available, expressing his interest in recording it.

Although at that point it had only two verses and no bridge, Williams said that there was a bridge and an additional verse, forming a complete song.

In September of 1970, A&M’s new recording duo’s release enter the Billboard Hot 100 with their version of the song. It remained on the charts for seventeen straight weeks, peaking at the #2 position for four weeks.

This was the duo third release to make the pop charts and second Top 10 hit. They would go on to chart 26 more times. Like this hit song, the Carpenters were quite justified in proclaiming, “We’ve Only Just Begun,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.

YouTube video of this song:

This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.