A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 31, 2007
“Where Sunshine Spends the Winter” (San Antonio, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley slogan)

"Where Sunshine Spends the Winter” was/is a slogan for San Antonio, El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, Long Beach (CA), Tucson (AZ), Phoenix (AZ), and probably other places as well. In 1924, J. G. Cummings (evening announcer at WOAI radio in San Antonio) called his city “The winter playground of America, where the sunshine spends the winter.” In 1925, the El Paso Chamber of Commerce adopted “Where Sunshine Spends the Winter” as that city’s official slogan, and a song was written for the occasion. The slogan was used for the Rio Grande Valley by at least 1928.

The summer sunshine is not featured in Texas slogans, for obvious reasons.


23 November 1924, San Antonio (TX) Express, pg. 23, col. 6 photo caption:
This view, taken on the roof of the Southern Equipment Company’s building shows J. C. Stroebel (right), a radio engineer from Hastings, Nebraska, who is rebuilding WOAI, and J. G. Cummings (left), the evening announcer of WOAI who is helping make San Antonio famous as “The winter playground of America, where the sunshine spends the winter.”

7 December 1924, San Antonio (TX) Express, pg. 22, col. 3:
It is getting to the point in the radio world where station WOAI at San Antonio us being watched by every other large station in the country. They are asking: “How does San Antonio do it?” and radio publications are making inquiries which will result in wider advertising for the city “Where the Sunshine Spends the Winter.”

26 June 1927, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post (Reprinted 26 June 1952, “Twenty-Five Years Ago,” pg. 18, col. 3):
“Where Sunshine Spends the Winter” is under fire as our official slogan. Maurice Schwartz told Chamber of Commerce directors he did not think the slogan is representative. He says the sun spends the summer here, too. Felix Miller suggested: “Where Sunshine Spends the Seasons.”

Google Books
That Mexican!
As He Really Is, North and South of the Rio Grande
by Robert Norris McLean
New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company
1928
Pg. 159:
... summer in California “ and that “ Texas is where sunshine spends the winter.”

28 April 1928, Olean (NY) Evening Times, pg. 9, col. 3:
“Most of the people who have been responsible for the development of the Rio Grande Valley have been wither easterners, northerners or westerners. There are few of them genuine Texans.

“In speaking of the section they frequently describe it as the place where:

“The place where the sunshine spends the winter.”

3 April 1930, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part 2, pg. 18:
Nevertheless, the New York entry in the National League has a kindly feeling for San Antonio, probably as a result of the three-year contract signed by McGraw to do his spring training in the city where the radio announcers tell you the sunshine spends the winter. 

6 July 1930, Fresno (CA) Bee, pg. 43?, col. 4 ad:
THREE RIVERS, CALIFORNIA
“Where Sunshine Spends the Winter”

2 December 1930, Waterloo (Iowa) Daily Courier, pg. 15, col. 3 ad:
Lower Rio Grande
Valley—Texas

In the Garden of
The Golden Grapefruit

Where Sunshine Spends the
Winter.

19 February 1935, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, pg. 4, col. 7:
Mrs. W. R. Brown, musician, today proposed that the city fathers hear the new song—“Where Sunshine Spends the Winter”—before they decide if it’s good enough to adopt as a city booster song.

5 March 1935, San Antonio (TX) Express, “Keys to City to Carry Motif of Centennial,” pg. 7, col. 5:
Keys which are usually presented to distinguished visitors in the city as a sign of hospitality may in the future carry an inscription heralding the Texas Centennial.

Mayor C. K. Quin revealed that the supply of the old keys is near exhaustion. One one side is a picture of the Alamo and on the other the slogan: “San Antonio, Where the Sunshine Spends the Winter.” The mayor said he was considering this slogan to something apropos of the 1936 Centennial when new keys are ordered.

9 March 1937, Stevens Point (WI) Daily Journal, pg. 2, col. 8 ad:
ROBT. E. LEE HOTEL
SAN ANTONIO, WHERE SUNSHINE SPENDS THE WINTER

7 November 1937, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section 4, pg. 13:
Then St. Mary’s University Rattlers will clash with Washburn’s Ichabods of Kansas in a game at San Antonio, where, Mose Simms admits, the sunshine spends the winter, but not enough fans spend money for football tickets. 

7 December 1946, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. 24, col. 5 ad:
FOR SALE
CITRUS GROVE
paying big dividends. Located in the Magic Valley of Texas “WHERE THE SUNSHINE SPENDS THE WINTER AND MEXICO MEETS UNCLE SAM.”

Google Books
American Slogans
by William Sunners
New York, NY: The Paebar Company
1949
Pg. 82:
Where sunshine spends the winter (El Paso, Tex.).

30 April 1953, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part 3, pg. 2:
But since this happened in California we should leave it to “Huntington park where the sunshine spends the winter.”

9 December 1954, Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) Free Press, pg. 4, col. 4 ad:
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA
Why not plan now to join your Canadian friends in Long Beach—where the sunshine spends the winter.

9 July 1960, Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen, pg. 8, col. 1:
Last summer a Tucsonian made a motor-trailer trip up the Alcan Highway into Alaska. (...) He went and had a sign painted showing “Tucson—3,471 miles. Where the Sunshine Spends the Winter.” Planted it solidly in the tundra. Bigger than the Wickenburg, Scottsdale and Phoenix signs it was, too.

13 February 1971, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 18, col. 6:
If you can’t fly to Canada for the summer, buy a Friedrich central air conditioning unit today. How to beat the summer heat is a question that San Antonians are asking themselves once again. San Antonio was nicknamed the “City where the sunshine spends the winter.” However, that old sun takes off its vacation shades and gets right down to earth in the summer. In fact, it gets so down to earth that temperatures often go soaring past the 100 degree mark.

23 December 1973, Dallas (TX) Morning News, section C, pg. 8:
PHOENIX—“Where The Sunshine Spends The Winter” says the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

24 December 1974, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, section A, pg. 4, col. 5:
Where Sunshine Spends the Winter
EDITOR: Recently, going through some old photographs, which had belonged to my father, I found a small tan card on which was printed a poem “Where Sunshine Spends the Winter.”

It is about El Paso, and I thought it was very nice. I have no idea who wrote it, or how old it is.

Where the sunshine spends the winter,
Where the gentle breezes blow,
Where the mountains rise in splendor,
Against the sunset’s glow.
In the land of golden sunshine
Where the skies are always blue,
Where sunshine spread the winter
El Paso waits for you.


28 June 1976, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “E.P. has a lot to sing about” by Nancy Hamilton, pg. B1, cols. 2-5:
A THIRD SONG in the university collection is “El Paso Where Sunshine Spends the Winter,” published by the Austin Music Shop at 205 Mills street here. The music was by Sylvia M. Austin with lyrics by her husband, H. W. Austin.

The chorus features a popular slogan for El Paso and also mentions that his is “where mountains rise in splendor against the sunset’s glow, in the land of golden sunshine where the skies are always blue.”

The City Council adopted the song officially for the city on Feb. 19, 1925, after Lindsay Stephens, baritone, sang it to Mrs. Austin’s accompaniment at a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce Building presided over by Mayor Richard Dudley. The colorful cover drawing of tpwn, river and mountain was by D. M. Andresen.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, December 31, 2007 • Permalink