800-588-2300 EMPIRE TODAY -The Jingle You Can’t Forget
Do you know the number to call when you need carpet, flooring or window treatments? Over One Million Satisfied Customers did when they called for their Empire Carpet, Empire Flooring, and Empire Window Treatment needs.
The Empire Today famous jingle “800-588-2300, Empire” was composed by Lynn Hauldren, known by millions as the Empire Carpet Man. As a talented musician and singer in barbershop quartets, Elmer Lynn Hauldren, a.k.a. The Empire Man, was in a unique position to help Empire Carpet when they were in need of a catchy jingle.
Lynn wrote the jingle and recorded it with a small mixed-gender a cappella singing group which he was part of, The Fabulous 40s. The Empire Carpet jingle was first broadcast in 1977.
Since this time, the Empire Today jingle has become a cultural meme, an “earworm”, and probably one of the best-known phone numbers in America. The jingle has earned its fame through its undeniably catchy tune and has taken on a life of its own. This jingle holds a special place in the heart of Chicago culture, where the jingle is tightly connected to the identity of the Windy City.
Did you know the evolution of the Empire Today jingle?
The jingle is simply a small mixed gender vocal group singing out the digits of the telephone number. The original Chicago-centered version was only the seven-digit number:
As Empire expanded nationally in 1999 (though it was first used in a commercial in 1996), the same tune was used, but with a three-note prefix added for the company’s toll-free number. In 2002, the company changed its name to Empire Today and the word today was added to the end of the jingle. The word “today” is said, but not sung by, what is presumed to be the Empire Carpet Man:
“800-588-2300, Em-pire, today!”
Prior to the 800 number, the company had the same telephone number locally in the Chicago area, “five-eight-eight, two, three-hundred”, which aired frequently on Chicago superstation WGN-TV.
Over the years, the Empire Today jingle has even been covered in pop culture.
- The jingle was covered in concert by the platinum selling recording artist, Pearl Jam.
- An Empire Today commercial is featured in the opening segment of the feature film “Wayne’s World,” starring Saturday Night Live alums Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, in which the character Benjamin (Rob Lowe) and his partner (Ione Skye) are watching television.
- The infamous jingle has been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien during his 2006 visit to Chicago, during which Conan stated “It is impossible to live in the Chicagoland area and not know the song by heart.”
- The Apprentice contestant, Aimee Trottier, stated in Chicago Magazine that what qualifies someone as a true Chicagoan is knowing the Empire Today Jingle by heart.
- In a 2008 episode of The Tom Leykis Show on KLSX, 97.1 FM Talk in Los Angeles, the Empire jingle was featured in a discussion of advertising jingles, featuring the tune’s history. The Empire Today jingle was played twice in this special episode.
The Beginnings of the Empire Carpet Jingle Tune
It all started with 588-2300, Em-pire!. The Empire Carpet Jingle was initially centered around its Chicago roots. As Empire Carpet expanded nationwide the number became “800-588-2300, Em-pire!” sung by a small vocal mixed gender group. In 2002, the company changed its name to Empire Today and the word today was added to the end of the jingle.
The Empire Carpet Jingle was first created more than 36 years ago by Lynn Hauldren, commonly known as the Empire Carpet Man. Lynn wrote the catchy Empire Carpet Jingle with the purpose to be used in Empire Carpet commercials. Today the Empire Carpet Jingle still remains an iconic tune and is sung and tweeted by many fans nationwide. To learn more about the history of Empire Today Jingle, visit www.empirecarpetman.com/the-empire-today-jingle.