Tony Schwartz (sound archivist)

Last updated
Tony Schwartz
Born(1923-08-19)August 19, 1923
DiedJune 15, 2008(2008-06-15) (aged 84)

Anthony Schwartz (August 19, 1923 – June 15, 2008) was an American sound archivist, sound designer, pioneering media theorist, and advertising creator. Known as the "wizard of sound," he is perhaps best known for his role in creating the controversial Daisy television ad for the 1964 Lyndon Johnson campaign.


Life and career

Considered a guru of the newly emerging "electronic media" by Marshall McLuhan, Schwartz ushered in a new age of media study in the 1970s. His works anticipated the end of the print-based media age and pointed to a new electronic age of mass media.

Born in Manhattan, Schwartz was raised there briefly before his family moved to Peekskill, New York. At 16, he went blind for about six months. He had previously been interested in ham radio, and the incident focused him more on sound as did his lifelong agoraphobia.

He earned a degree in graphic design from the Pratt Institute and worked as a civilian artist for the United States Navy during World War II. He later earned honorary degrees from John Jay College, Emerson College, and Stonehill College.

Schwartz began recording ambient sounds, spoken word, and folk music, [1] releasing many albums on Folkways Records and Columbia Records. [2] [3] One of his albums, New York Taxi Driver, was among the first 100 recordings inducted into the National Recording Registry. [4] From 1945 to 1976, Schwartz produced and hosted "Around New York" on WNYC.

He transitioned into advertising work in 1958 when approached by Johnson and Johnson about creating ads for the company's baby powder products based on his previous work recording children. [5] His resulting work is often credited as the first use of children's real voices in radio commercials as specially trained adults had always done such voice work in the past. [6]

Briefly specializing in advertising using children, he soon broadened into general advertising, creating ads for such clients as Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Chrysler, American Cancer Society, and Kodak. [7]

Schwartz subsequently shifted his advertising work toward political campaigns. While continuing to create product ads, he created thousands of political ads for such candidates as Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

He also worked on the soundtrack for the 1973 Oscar-winning animated short Frank Film . [8] [9]

In a final transition in his career, he turned his energies toward social-awareness advertising which he was familiar with having created the first anti-smoking commercials for radio and television early in his career. [6] [10]

In the 1980s, he resumed these efforts, creating many anti-smoking commercials as well as media work for such causes as fire prevention, AIDS awareness, educational funding, and nuclear disarmament.

In 2007, Schwartz’s entire body of work from 1947 to 1999, including field recordings and commercials, was acquired by the Library of Congress. [11]

Schwartz's wife, Reenah Lurie Schwartz, often worked closely with him on scriptwriting. They were married in 1959 and had two children: Michaela Schwartz-Burridge and jazz saxophonist, Anton Schwartz.

Tony Schwartz is famous for saying, "The best thing about radio is that people were born without earlids. You can't close your ears to it." [6]

Schwartz was inducted into the Political Consultants Hall of Fame at the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) in the year 2000. Former Schwartz student Joe Slade White produced the tribute video. [12]



Related Research Articles

Advertising Form of communication for marketing, typically paid for

Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement: advert or ad for short.

Daisy (advertisement) 1964 campaign advertisement for Lyndon Johnson

"Daisy", sometimes known as "Daisy Girl" or "Peace, Little Girl", was a controversial political advertisement aired on television during the 1964 United States presidential election by incumbent president Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign. Though officially aired only once by the campaign, it is considered to be an important factor in Johnson's landslide victory over Barry Goldwater and an important turning point in political and advertising history. It remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made.

Negative campaigning or mudslinging is the process of deliberately spreading negative information about someone or something to worsen the public image of the described.

In political campaigns, an attack ad is an advertisement whose message is designed to wage a personal attack against an opposing candidate or political party in order to gain support for the attacking candidate and attract voters. Attack ads often form part of negative campaigning or smear campaigns, and in large or well-financed campaigns, may be disseminated via mass media.

Radio documentary

Radio documentary is a spoken word radio format devoted to non-fiction narrative. It is broadcast on radio as well as distributed through media such as tape, CD, and podcast. A radio documentary, or feature, covers a topic in depth from one or more perspectives, often featuring interviews, commentary, and sound pictures. A radio feature may include original music compositions and creative sound design or can resemble traditional journalistic radio reporting, but covering an issue in greater depth.

The "Stand By Your Ad" provision (SBYA) of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, enacted in 2002, requires candidates in the United States for federal political office, as well as interest groups and political parties supporting or opposing a candidate, to include in political advertisements on television and radio "a statement by the candidate that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication". The provision was intended to force political candidates running any campaign for office in the United States to associate themselves with their television and radio advertising, thereby discouraging them from making controversial claims or attack ads.

"Harry and Louise" was a $14 to $20 million year-long television advertising campaign funded by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA)—a predecessor of the current America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—a health insurance industry lobby group, that ran intermittently from September 8, 1993 to September 1994 in opposition to President Bill Clinton's proposed health care plan in 1993–1994 and Congressional health care reform proposals in 1994. Fourteen television ads and radio and print advertising depicted a fictional suburban forty-something middle-class married couple, portrayed by actors Harry Johnson and Louise Caire Clark, despairing over bureaucratic and other aspects of health care reform plans and urging viewers to contact their representatives in Congress. The commercials were ordered by HIAA president Bill Gradison and HIAA executive vice president Chip Kahn, and created by California public relations consultants Ben Goddard and Rick Claussen of Goddard Claussen.

John Cohen was an American musician, photographer and film maker who performed and documented the traditional music of the rural South and played a major role in the American folk music revival. In the 1950s and 60s, Cohen was a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers, a New York-based string band. Cohen made several expedition to Peru to film and record the traditional culture of the Q'ero, an indigenous people. Cohen was also a professor of visual arts at SUNY Purchase College for 25 years.

Campaign advertising

In politics, campaign advertising is the use of an advertising campaign through the media to influence a political debate, and ultimately, voters. These ads are designed by political consultants and political campaign staff. Many countries restrict the use of broadcast media to broadcast political messaging. In the European Union, many countries do not permit paid-for TV or radio advertising for fear that wealthy groups will gain control of airtime, making fair play impossible and distorting the political debate in the process.

William Bernbach was an American advertising creative director. He was one of the three founders in 1949 of the international advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). He directed many of the firm's breakthrough ad campaigns and had a lasting impact on the creative team structures now commonly used by ad agencies.

Smithsonian Folkways is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. It is a part of the Smithsonian's Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, located at Capital Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C. The label was founded in 1987 after the family of Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records, donated the entire Folkways Records label to the Smithsonian. The donation was made on the condition that the Institution continue Asch's policy that each of the more than 2,000 albums of Folkways Records remain in print forever, regardless of sales. Since then, the label has expanded on Asch's vision of documenting the sounds of the world, adding six other record labels to the collection, as well as releasing over 300 new recordings. Some well-known artists have contributed to the Smithsonian Folkways collection, including Pete Seeger, Ella Jenkins, Woody Guthrie, and Lead Belly. Famous songs include "This Land Is Your Land", "Goodnight, Irene", and "Midnight Special." Due to the unique nature of its recordings, which include an extensive collection of traditional American music, children's music, and international music, Smithsonian Folkways has become an important collection to the musical community, especially to ethnomusicologists, who utilize the recordings of "people's music" from all over the world.

Fearmongering or scaremongering is a form of manipulation which causes fear by using exaggerated rumors of impending danger.

Where do you want to go today?” was the title of Microsoft’s 2nd global image advertising campaign. The broadcast, print and outdoor advertising campaign was launched in November 1994 through the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, the firm best known for its work on behalf of Nike, Inc. The campaign, which The New York Times described as taking “a winsome, humanistic approach to demystifying technology”, had Microsoft spending $100 million through July 1995, of which $25 million would be spent during the holiday shopping season ending in December 1994.

Adriel Hampton American politician

Adriel O. Hampton is an American entrepreneur, strategist, and political figure from California. Hampton runs The Adriel Hampton Group, a digital advertising agency dedicated to supporting progressive causes. In 2020, he co-founded New Noise Works, a video game studio that distributes 60 percent of revenue to activist and mutual aid organizations. Additionally, Hampton is the founder of The Really Online Lefty League political action committee (PAC).

Stanley R. Lee was an advertising executive who wrote the novels Dunn's Conundrum (1985) and The God Project (1990) under the name "Stan Lee". He was copywriter for the notorious political commercial "Daisy" for the advertising firm DDB Worldwide and worked his way up to Senior Vice President of that company before being laid off in 1974.

Eugene Lawrence "Gene" Case was an American advertising executive who developed campaigns for Mennen Skin Bracer and Tums, and developed ads for political campaigns for Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 presidential election campaign, as well as for Nelson Rockefeller and Robert F. Wagner. Case was a founder of the firm Jordan McGrath Case & Partners.

Joe Slade White

Joe Slade White is a Democratic political strategist and media consultant. On April 4, 2014 White was named "National Democratic Strategist of the Year" by the American Association of Political Consultants. White's past clients have included presidential candidates, U.S. Senators, governors, members of Congress, and mayors, as well as statewide and local initiatives throughout the country. In 2013, The New York Times described White as then-Vice President Joe Biden's "long-time strategist."

Moses Asch, often known as Moe Asch, was a Polish-American recording engineer and record executive. He founded Asch Records, which then changed its name to Folkways Records when the label transitioned from 78 RPM recordings to LP records. Asch ran the Folkways label from 1948 until his death in 1986. Folkways was very influential in bringing folk music into the American cultural mainstream. Some of America's greatest folk songs were originally recorded for Asch, including "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie and "Goodnight Irene" by Lead Belly. Asch sold many commercial recordings to Verve Records; after his death, Asch's archive of ethnic recordings was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution, and released as Smithsonian Folkways Records.

Robert M. Oksner was an advertising professional. He worked for some of New York's top advertising agencies for three decades. He wrote such ads as "He's well on his way to being a brilliant surgeon. Now's your chance to stop him. Just turn this page" for the United Negro College Fund and "Full Color Sound" for Sony Tape, with art by Milton Glaser.

An annoyancefactor, in advertising and brand management, is a variable used to measure consumers' perception level of annoyance in an ad, then analyzed to help evaluate the ad's effectiveness. The variable can be observed or inferred and is a type that might be used in factor analyses. An annoyanceeffect is a reference to the impact or result of an annoying stimuli, which can be a strategic aspect of an advertisement intended to help a message stick in the minds of consumers. References to annoyance effects have been referred to as annoyancedynamics. While the words "factor" and "effect," as used in the behavioral sciences, have different meanings, in casual vernacular, they have been used interchangeably as synonymous. A more general or umbrella term would simply be advertising annoyance.


  1. Freeman, Ira Henry (September 2, 1953). About New York; Collectors: of City Sounds, Magicians' Props, Dolls of Stars, Antique Apothecary Jars. New York Times
  2. Briggs, John (February 15, 1953). Sidewalks of N. Y.; West-Side Kids at Play Heard in Own Songs. New York Times
  3. Shelton, Robert (April 12, 1959). New York on Tape; A young New Yorker with a recorder limns the city in its variety of sound. New York Times
  4. "The National Recording Registry 2003". The Library of Congress. 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2008-08-25.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. Geerhart, Bill (2007-09-07). "Daisy: The Complete History of an Infamous and Iconic Ad (part two)". Conelrad. Retrieved 2008-08-25.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. 1 2 3 Sullivan, Patricia (2008-06-17). "Tony Schwartz; His Ads Targeted Viewer Emotions". The Washington Post. p. B07. Retrieved 2010-05-25.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. Weyland, Paul (2008-07-26). "The Broadcast Genius You Probably Never Heard Of". Radio Business Report. Retrieved 2008-08-25.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. Frank Mouris, Producer Academy Awards Acceptance Speech
  9. Frank Film, by Frank Mouris (1973) – via YouTube
  10. "The Schwartz Collection". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 2008-08-25.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. Fox, Margalit (June 17, 2008). Tony Schwartz, Father of ‘Daisy Ad’ for the Johnson Campaign, Dies at 84 New York Times
  12. "Tony Schwartz Hall of Fame Video by Joe Slade White". American Association of Political Consultants.