Saturday, January 19, 2013

Kvitka “Kasey” Cisyk, singer, (April 4, 1953 – March 29, 1998) filming "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?" in Denver, CO in 1989.

Kasey Cisyk, singer, (April 4, 1953 – March 29, 1998) filming "Have You Driven a Ford Lately?" in Denver, CO in 1989., originally uploaded by

I had the great privelege to direct Kasey in about six different film shoots. She was a fantastic talent. Although she stood only about 4' 10" tall, her voice was the biggest I have ever heard.
During the last shoot we did together, her energy level was definitely way down. She confided her illness and revealed that she was fighting her breast cancer by holistic means.

From Wikipedia: Cisyk achieved her widest success as a singer of the musical jingles used in TV and radio commercials. Cisyk's recording of the slogan "Have you driven a Ford lately?" was used in Ford commercials from 1981 to 1998; in 1989, Ford executives estimated that Cisyk's recording of that phrase had been heard by 20 billion people.[1]

During a career that lasted more than 20 years, Cisyk's skills were so highly valued that competitors within the same industry sought her services. Cisyk's sang the phrase "You deserve a break today" for McDonalds, but also recorded commercials for Burger King.

In addition to Ford, Cisyk sang for automakers General Motors and Toyota. She recorded spots for the three national television networks in the 1980s (ABC, NBC and CBS), four major airlines (American, Delta, Eastern and TWA), two national retailers Sears and JC Penney and the two most popular soft drinks: Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

According to her New York Times obituary, "a typical day, she later recalled, would begin with a 9 A.M. session for Trans World Airlines, followed by Coca-Cola at 11, Hartz Mountain at 1 P.M., Eastern Airlines at 2, Datsun at 3, L'Eggs at 5, McDonald's at 6, and, after all that, a recording session from 8:30 P.M. to 3 A.M."

Cisyk's list of commercial credits also include Mr. Pibb, Safeway grocery stores and Starburst candies.

Cisyk recorded the version of "You Light Up My Life" heard in the movie, sang the "Have you driven a Ford lately?" and "You deserve a break today!" jingles and also released two critically acclaimed albums of Ukrainian songs.

Kvitka Cisyk Rakowicz died from breast cancer on March 29, 1998, six days before her 45th birthday. She is survived by her husband, Edward J. Rakowicz and son, Edward W. (born 1991), and her first husband, Jack Cortner.

Because of her contribution to Ukrainian music a yearly music festival is held and a street was named in her honour in Lviv, Ukraine.

A frame grab from the commercial shoot for Ford.

This is a shot of Kasey and me during filming in Denver, CO.

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