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The Jingle That Won’t Die


by Stephen Becker 26 Nov 2008

With the economy the way it is, plenty of businesses have gone under. But when news came down yesterday that Western Warehouse and Boot Town are going out of business, the first thing I thought of was likely the first thought a lot of you had: There goes one of the most memorable, stick-in-your brain […]

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With the economy the way it is, plenty of businesses have gone under. But when news came down yesterday that Western Warehouse and Boot Town are going out of business, the first thing I thought of was likely the first thought a lot of you had: There goes one of the most memorable, stick-in-your brain jingles North Texas has ever heard.

If you’ve lived in the area for more than 10 years, I have no doubt you can sing the following:

“I got a ranch in downtown Dallas/I buy diamonds by the ton/Chase cuties in my Cadillac/Drill oil wells just for fun/But when it comes to boots, I need a deal/That will fit me right, toe to heel/So I get my boots at — Western Warehouse.”

The song was fun, catchy and enduring — everything a good jingle should be. And I always thought it was a little satirical, playing off the world’s image of the Dallas of J.R. Ewing. We all laughed at the thought of “a ranch in downtown Dallas,” but I always wondered if the same people who thought everyone here rode their horses to work were in on the joke.

There comes a point with some jingles when they actually become bigger than the business that they are advertising. They’re just out there as part of the pop culture, taking on an existence all their own. At that point, have they been elevated to something other than advertising?

I’m not ready to call the Western Warehouse jingle a work of art. But it is safe to say that it became part of the fabric of our city — something you’d put in the Dallas time capsule of the 1980s and 90s. In closing the stores, the company will hold the usual going-out-of-business sales through the holidays. And a part of me hopes I’ll turn on the radio and hear that jingle a few more times before it’s gone for good.

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  • Alan

    What’s sad about this is that we’re losing two jingles that are familiar to Dallasites who have been here a while: The Western Warehouse jingle is the clear winner, but Boot Town – which merged with WW sometime in the late 1990s – had its own great, easily-identifiable jingle (“Boot Town…for the prices / Boot Town…for the quality / Boot Town … for the family / Ride on in to Boot Town”).

    It brings up a larger question about the demise of jingles. Most jingles you still hear on a regular basis are legacy jingles, meaning they’ve been around a long time. But when was the last time you saw someone launch a new ad campaign with a jingle? These days, it’s more about a “signature sound” – like all the cell phone companies, for example.

  • SRP

    I grew up in Dallas and still sing the Western Warehouse song for my friends here in Chicago. I have a feeling it’ll be one of the memories that stay with me well into old age.
    While there are a few jingles for Chicago-area businesses, none of them come close to the humor and oversized nature of the WW jingle.
    It’s definitely a Texas thing.