Canadian Fashion Connection – The Woodward’s Jingle

If you grew up in Vancouver in the 1960s and 1970s like I did, you knew this tune – the $1.49 Day jingle. I blogged about Woodward’s, the Vancouver department store that was in business from 1892 to 1992 a while back, but I didn’t mention their famous advertising jingle.

The tune was written by Australian-born Tony Antonias on February 17, 1958 while he was the creative director of the Vancouver radio station CKNW. He had just returned to work after a Christmas holiday in Australia to find a new typewriter on his desk, and an unwelcome assignment on his work plan. He was to write a creative advertisement for Woodward’s. When he hit his computer in frustration, the machine made a couple of ‘dings’ that started the tune in his head.

The ‘$1.49 day’ ad was used to promote a number of specials that always made Woodward’s the place to be on any given Tuesday (I recall stockings, underpants and bath towels were commonly promoted on Tuesdays.) Three years after the jingle was first aired in April 1958, Tony received an award from the Hollywood Advertising Club in California for creating one of the world’s best radio advertisements. Like it or not, it sticks with you!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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