CASTRO CONVERTIBLES

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From Grace Church Cemetery, Jamaica Avenue near Parsons.

Ok…let’s all sing along on the Daaaaaaan Ingram Show…

That’s my favorite all time radio jingle. Kars 4 Kids? Bah.





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16 Responses to CASTRO CONVERTIBLES

  1. Simon says:

    I believe Bernadette Castro held a political position at one time.

  2. richard vogel says:

    Bernedette Castro where are you now?

  3. kikki says:

    so easy, a child can do it~~~what a great memory…what happened to the moving sign the used to have??? (long island city) and while we’re in lic, how about the swingline stapler???

  4. Alec says:

    Whenever I hear the Kars for Kids jingle I immediately change the station. Like fingernails on chalkboard. Maybe I’d donate my car if they just changed the jingle.

  5. barb g says:

    Bernadette Castro was the NYS commissioner of parks and rec under pataki. i will not make any comments about political corruption, but there was plenty of it. I think she lasted for two of Elmer’s terms.
    i have a fond memory of walking along Jamaiker Ave — under the El, and coming to that very corner.
    I grew up in south queens – laurelton/St albans, graduated from Andrew Jackson High School (now defuncted) and we did most of our clothing and other shopping in jamaica. when they built the ‘new’ library at 165th st (near what was the bus station then) we thought it a tremendous improvement over the old and i hope still standing wonderful ole victorian manse that previously housed the QBPL. i heard it is now part of the court bldgs, at Parsons and Jamaica.
    And of course, the EL – gone. it was dark and spoooky under there, but there were great shoe stores and bodegas, and hole in the wall restaurants.
    I visited the area about 10 yrs ago – felt like a stranger in a strange land. ALL the landmarks were gone, along with the dark and gloomy EL. it is an improvement.

  6. Kevin says:

    Castro’s headquarters and factory used to be located on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. I’m it is now gone.

  7. Heartland says:

    My wife tells me that she attended Bernadette’s wedding. I worked at Gertz Plaza for nearly 20 years & I remember this spot well. If you miss the old Music Radio 77 format, rejoice. It lives on Saturday evenings at 6 PM on “Saturday Night Oldies”, hosted by Mark Simone. If you’re a recovering New Yorker in exile, like me, you can acess it at wabcradio.com in real time or as an archived podcast. Enjoy.

  8. Geoff says:

    Castro’s Headquarters are now a self storage unit, and Ms Castro once ran for US Senate from New York and lost, badly. She is once again doing commercials for Castro Convertibles, but I dont know who owns them now

  9. Neil says:

    Does anyone remember the spoof of that Castro jingle that appeared shortly after Fidel Castro, who, after forcing into exile (1959) the U.S.-backed Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, became a dictator himself, despite promises of democratic rule?

    It mimicked the original corporate jingle, but I can’t remember the opening line (something with “Who was the first to….), and it concluded with “Castro the Convertible”, as with the original.

  10. Alex says:

    @Neil: in the headline of one of Antonio (“Spy vs. Spy”) Prohias’ early pieces for MAD Magazine, they used this same conceit: something about Prohias not wanting to become a “Castro Covertible.”

    • Neil says:

      I used to look at Mad occasionally during that period, but I must admit I wasn’t particularly fond of the Spy vs Spy feature, and I certainly never would have remembered Prohias’ name. Good memory!

  11. Usher says:

    Don’t remember the ads, but when I was a little kid I slept on one of those for a few years. And it was so easy, my parents made me open and close it myself :)

  12. Mark says:

    I remember one of my uncles, who had an apartment in Hoboken, used a Castro Convertible pretty much all his life, despite that fact that the apartment had two proper bedrooms.

    A history of Castro Convertibles from Wikipedia.

    ‘’’Bernard Castro’’’ (1904 – August 24, 1991) was the inventor of the modern convertible couch.

    Born in Sicily, Castro emigrated to the U.S. in 1919. He never finished high school but went to work as an upholsterer’s apprentice. In 1931 with $400 in capital he opened his first store, which eventually became a chain he named ‘’’Castro Convertibles’’’. At his death in 1991, he had sold over 5 million of his convertible sofas through 48 retail showrooms in 12 states, becoming a multimillionaire in the process.[1]

    Bernard Castro married Theresa Barbaras on Valentine’s Day 1942. Their two children were Bernard, Jr. and Bernadette. Bernadette became locally famous in the New York area as the company’s official four-year-old spokesperson. Theresa died at 85 in March 2002.[2][3] Castro Convertibles was acquired in 1993 by Krause Furniture, a competitor.[4]

    Bernadette Castro managed the sale to Krause but retained the large portfolio of commercial real estate her father had acquired, both retail and industrial. Those properties in New York, Florida, Connecticut, and Virginia put the family in the real estate business. The iconic Castro Convertible brand was retired until 2010 when Bernadette Castro and her children bought back the intellectual property and relaunched the business with one of the most popular original products, the Castro Convertible Ottoman. Rather than retail locations, the new Castro is available online[5] and at many Macy’s stores across the country. The Castro Convertible line is scheduled for expansion.
    [edit] Links

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Castro

    • Sid says:

      Funny you should play a clip from Dan Ingram doing a Castro Convertible commercial, because he tells a funny story about how he got to do all the live reads for that sponsor:

      He once had a live commercial for CC which read: “Castro Convertibles are now available at a fraction of their original price.” So, he ad-libbed: “Castro Convertibles are now available at a fraction of their original price: Eleven-tenths.”

      The phone in the studio rang…the private line that no one is supposed to know about, but everyone does. The caller was Bernadette Castro. She tried to fake being angry: “MR. Ingram….” and then broke out laughing: “That was the FUNNIEST line I’ve ever heard!!!” And, as Dan tells it, for the rest of his time at WABC, all the Castro Convertible commercials in his show were live-reads.

  13. Kathleen Mathews says:

    Bernadette Castro has started up the Castro Convertibles company again. She sells her products on HSN.com. The Castro Convertibles website is http://www.castroconvertiblesusa.com/

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