New Britain has Little Poland, CTfastrak, breweries and the Bees, and Curley L. Jones says that’s a story worth putting to music.
So he did: He recorded a song and video for the city’s “Experience the New” jingle contest. On Tuesday, he was declared the winner.
“When I heard Curley’s jingle, I immediately knew that his was the one,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
Clocking in at one minute and eight seconds, Jones’ song promotes the city’s strong points. Jones, 55, moved from North Carolina to New Britain nearly 14 years ago, and said he’s seen firsthand how the city is on the rebound.
“That’s what got me to really tap into this. I’ve seen the street development, the projects going up — things are looking up,” Jones said.
Stewart’s administration wants to get past the city’s one-time factory-city reputation as Hard-Hittin’ New Britain, and turned to the public for a promotional jingle and video with that message. Jones defeated three other contestants, winning $1,000 worth of gift cards and event tickets from New Britain merchants, restaurants and sports teams.
“He captures the unique diversity of New Britain with lyrics and a melody that sticks with you well after the song has ended. You can’t help but smile,” Stewart said.
The city plans to use his song as a background soundtrack for marketing videos it will produce next year.
“We might have him go into a studio to maybe get a little cleaner audio,” said spokesman David Huck. “We’ll use the videos on social media.”
But first, Jones will perform the song live at the Main Street USA event on Saturday at Walnut Hill Park. Jones is scheduled to take the stage just before the fireworks show starts around 8:40 p.m.
Jones drives a tractor trailer for CWPM, and sings on weekends at the Lighthouse Family Worship Center. He has been writing promotional jingles and singing gospel music for years.
When he was shooting a few scenes for the New Britain video at Walnut Hill Park, he noticed two skateboarders riding. They ended up dancing with him on camera.
Jones plans to begin using the gift cards to take his wife, Beverly Thurman-Jones, to a birthday dinner.
“I’m glad to be the winner — New Britain is our home,” he said Tuesday afternoon.
Jones has been writing promotional jingles and singing gospel music for years, and several years ago posted a Yard Goats song to his Facebook page.
“I sent it to the team, but I never heard back,” he said. “I hope some jingle company picks me up. My goal is to write for a jingle company and then for a gospel label.”
This article originally appeared in the Hartford Courant on September 5, 2018.