This report was broadcast on BBC World Service radio, in July 2007.
“Our next item comes from New York, where a group of musicians have been making fresh art from one of the most familiar sounds of summer. From April to November, Mister Softee vans cruise the streets of the city, playing an advertising jingle designed to encourage children to spend their pocket money on ice cream. Three generations of New Yorkers have grown up with the song, which hasn’t changed a note since it was written in 1960. Last year Mayor Michael Bloomberg decreed that the vans should only be allowed to play the music while driving, as part of a policy to limit noise pollution in New York. But as Andrew Purcell reports, two artists from Brooklyn have come up with an alternative plan: to change the music itself.”