Of Polkas and Planning: Lyle Beaver and America’s Oldest Brands

Okay, here’s the lineup: a horn section of University of Iowa jazz students (one trumpet, one trombone, one tenor sax), a yodeling drummer, and a lead singer who also plays the accordion. No, I’m not kidding. Front man Lyle Beaver and his “Brass Notes” have been touring the Midwest for MANY decades. He’s got to be one the longest running acts around (my ex-husband was the sax player about 20 year ago!). Lyle’s got it going on. He’s prepared. He’s got the van and the equipment and matching ruffle tux shirts (in three pastel colors) for everyone in the band. And he knows his audience. They like polkas and waltzes, so that’s what he delivers.

 

I thought of Lyle when I saw this article about the top ten oldest U.S. brands. These long-standing brands are a study in longevity…and perhaps continuity. Here’s a snippet:

 

“What does it take for a brand to survive and thrive for over 150 years, which is as long as Brooks Brothers’ ready-to-wear suit brand has been around? Most brands on our list have done well for many decades because they continue to be well-regarded by consumers. Remington rifles are among the best made in the world. Tiffany silver is still considered the ‘gold standard’ for products in its category. Each of these products may have different competition than a century ago, but continues to be relevant in the current industry.”

 

The list is worth a read, and it comes as no surprise to me that America’s oldest brand is Baker’s Chocolate! And if you don’t believe Lyle Beaver really exists, visit his website, where you can sample hits like “Polkas Make Me Happy,” or start your holiday shopping early and pick up his Christmas album on Amazon! What holiday season would be complete without the “Around the Christmas Tree Polka”?

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