Sixty years ago today, CKNW creative director, Tony Antonias wrote the famous Woodward’s $1.49 day jingle.
Antonias, a New Westminster resident and former Aussie—who like most of us ex pats have kept our accents—started as a copywriter at the station in 1955. He stayed there for the next 40 years—to the day.
As Tony tells it, the jingle came about almost by accident after he hit the key on a new typewriter and it made a loud ding. When he hit it again, it made another ding—yup $1.49 Day. Tuesday.
Tony wrote the jingle on February 17, 1958, recorded it on the Easter weekend and heard it go to air in April 1958 “after Woodwards took six weeks to decide to use it.”
“Everybody wants to know how the $1.49 jingle came to be,” he told me. “I’ve scripted it and I’ve got it on CDs and they love hearing it.”
Percival Archibald Woodward (Puggy) ran the Woodwards Department Stores for many years. It was Puggy who created Woodward’s famous food floor—and with it, turned the entire concept of retailing on its head.
And, it was his idea in 1927 to build a 75-foot-high beacon modelled after the Eiffel Tower to act as a giant billboard advertisement for the department store. The tower held a searchlight that threw out a two million candlepower beam which revolved six times each minute and could be seen from Vancouver Island. When the war hit he was told to remove the tower and the 16-foot W took its place. Puggy predicted that malls were the wave of the future and he was a driving force behind the Park Royal Shopping Centre, which in 1950, was the first shopping mall in Canada.
He died in 1968—10 years after Tony created the Woodward’s jingle. Puggy was a huge philanthropist with an interest in medical research and he left his vast estate to the Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodwards Foundation where it continues to do great work.
If that jingle and the famous whistle is not firmly wedged in your head for the rest of the day—or if you were born after 1992—you can listen to here on soundcloud
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