My Food Emporium Experience

24 Aug

For years my favorite song was the Food Emporium jingle.  So often I would hear people spontaneously break out into song, sharing their own person version of this fabulous song with the world.  It was so much a part of the NY landscape.

Then one day, much to my horror, the jingle just disappeared.  I kept waiting for its return, thinking that this obvious mistake in judgment would be rectified.  It never was.  A few years after this dark cloud settled over our metropolitan airwaves, I found myself in a recording studio, for one of the first times.  One of the first times for work, that is.

I wasn’t producing the session – I was way too young and green for that, but for some reason I was attending it nonetheless.  My boss was recording some jingle for some product that has long escaped my mind.  We were setting up and the singers involved had arrived a bit early.  They were friends with the music house guys so everyone was just hanging around catching up.

I was introduced.  “Margaux, this is Valerie and Nick.  Nick and Val, meet Margaux.”  Um.  It was Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  As in Ashford & Simpson.  As in “Solid.”  I was on the verge of gushing or doing something mildly inappropriate when across the room, I overheard a snippet of a totally separate conversation.

What?  What?!  WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!??!

The folks responsible for the Food Emporium jingle were in the room!  I immediately turned my back on Ashford & Simpson and instead turned my full adoration and attention where it belonged. I wanted to know everything about the ‘song.’

I guess the session happened.  I guess I said goodbye to Ashford & Simpson.  It’s really all a blur.  All I remember is that for weeks afterward I had the greatest song in the world in my head again, on constant loop.  I was complete.

I had forgotten about this event till yesterday when I heard that Nick Ashford had died on Monday.  Aside from performing under their own names, Ashford & Simpson were two of the best songwriters out there.  They wrote “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I’m Every Woman” for godsake!  That’s kind of major.

But to me their most important contribution, of course, was that they were in the room during my momentous Food Emporium discovery.  R.I.P. Nick.  Thank you for being such an important part of my life.

One Response to “My Food Emporium Experience”

  1. Joseph Rogers August 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story about Nick and Val. Valerie made many jingles over the years. Most of them were solo but she also did some great ones with Nick. What a great guy. What a wonderful, talented couple.

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