RIP Lynn Hauldren, Empire Carpet Man and singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani's grandfather

 In the 1970s, Chicagoan Elmer Lynn Hauldren became famous as the Empire Carpet Man -- a grandfatherly fellow in overalls, who wanted nothing more but to help you get the best deal on carpeting. In real life, Hauldren wasn't a carpet salesman, or even an actor -- he was an ad man who also wrote the commercial's famous jingle: "Eight-hundred five-eight-eight two-three-hundred -- Empire!"

The commercial ran for decades and a more modern version was seen in Boston as recently as a few months ago. Hauldren passed away in his sleep yesterday at the age of 89.

Hauldren had a sideline as a singer, a longtime member of the barbershop quartet Chordiac Arrest. The singers you hear in the commercial are an a-capella group Haudren sang with in the '70s. He may be gone, but the family musical tradition is carried on by his grandchildren: Boston alt-folk singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani and New York lyric tenor Matthew Polenzani.
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