Sattler’s 998: The jingle that built a department store

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

This week, we’re taking a look at some of Buffalo’s iconic jingles, and there aren’t many more iconic than the one that ends with “9-9-8 Broadway!”

Sattler’s closed 36 years ago, yet we still know the address by heart. While the jingle indeed helped Buffalo remember that now iconic address, more than that, without the jingle– we might not have known Sattler’s at all.

Sattler’s from a 1954 ad.

Despite decades of heavy print advertising and growing from a single store front to an entire block across from the Broadway Market, Sattler’s couldn’t seem to bust through as much more than a neighborhood Broadway/Fillmore store.

Ad for Lanny & Ginger Grey’s studio, 1947

In 1941, Lanny and Ginger Grey– singers in New York City– wrote the first advertising jingle ever for a department store for Sattler’s. There were different versions, but they all ended in those five syllables that are permanently etched into the memories of generations of Buffalonians, “nine-nine-eight Broad-WAY!”

The radio singing commercials did something that years of print ads just could do. People from all over Buffalo, especially more elusive wealthy customers, started shopping 998, where they were buying everything from canaries to thuringer sausage to mink coats at Sattler’s.

In 1948, the Sattler’s store was completely rebuilt, complete with escalators and air conditioning. Sattler’s executives called called it “the store that jingles built.”

Those iconic jingles were filled Buffalo’s airwaves in 1950, playing 102 times a week on WBEN, WGR, WKBW, WEBR and WBNY.

Sattler’s was at the cutting edge of over-the-top, cutting edge, marketing and self-promotion.

It was tough to listen to the radio for any extended period of time without being reminded to “shop and save at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway!”

Torn-Down Tuesday: Sattler’s at 998 Broadway

Despite having been gone for almost 35 years, Buffalonians still have only one thought when they hear the address 998 Broadway.

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Buffalo News archives

This photo of Sattler’s location at 998 Broadway was taken the day founder John G. Sattler died in 1941. As a teenager, Sattler opened a shoe store in the living room of his mother’s home at 992 Broadway. His business would grow and add product lines, becoming a marketing juggernaut and the backbone of the Broadway-Fillmore shopping district.

Buffalo News archives, 1978.

Buffalo News archives, 1978.

The store’s odd and interesting array of bargains, big events like their Christmas parade and that first-of-its-kind “Shop and Save at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway” jingle made the store a destination for people from all over Western New York. In the 1960s, Sattler’s became an anchor tenant in a handful of Western New York’s new shopping malls.

The Boulevard Mall Sattlers, 1980. (Buffalo News archives)

The Boulevard Mall Sattler’s, 1980. (Buffalo News archives)

Sattler’s went out of business in 1982, but the landmark Broadway-Fillmore store was stripped of the Sattler name a year earlier. For its final 13 months, it was known as the 998 Clearance Center. It carried castaways from the Main Place, Boulevard and Seneca Mall locations.

The 998 location was torn down in 1988.

Back to School 1960: Where girls were shopping

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Fifty-five years ago this week– the last week of August, 1960– The News’ special back-to-school section featured articles on the latest in education inside and outside of the classroom, and, of course, plenty of back-to-school ads.

Goldin’s at Broadway-Fillmore and Thruway Plaza, featured “The Goldin Twins” and S&H Green Stamps in this 1960 ad. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Clothes shopping was a much more gender-specific endeavor in 1960 — while many larger department stores and discount stores obviously offered accouterments for both sexes, there were also plenty of specialty shops that catered to only boys or girls.

Hengerer’s, 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Girls were looking for dresses and skirts as they found new school clothes 55 years ago; most schools banned girls from wearing slacks.

Kobacker’s, 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Goldin’s, Morrisons and Oppenheim Collins all catered to women and girls.

Morrison’s, Main Street downtown, Broadway/Fillmore, and North Tonawanda. 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Hengerer’s, Kobacher’s, Neisner’s, Sattler’s and the Sample sold men’s and women’s fashions.

Neisner’s. Main Street Downtown, Broadway near Fillmore, and Bailey Avenue. 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)
Oppenheim Collins: Main at Huron, Thruway Plaza. 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)
Sattler’s, 998 Broadway, 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)
The Sample. Hertel Avenue, Walden Avenue, Seneca Street, Lockport. 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)
Ulbrich’s. 386 Main, 17 W. Chippewa, University Plaza, Sheridan Plaza, Southgate Plaza, Thruway Plaza, Hamburg. 1960. (Buffalo Stories archives)