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News & Music Contributors
Record Bin Roulette
Thu August 2, 2012
Dialing up our favorite telephone songs
Somehow we got along fine before there were cell phones. You couldn’t call as your plane was taxiing to the gate, couldn’t call for help when the car broke down, and couldn’t call ahead when visiting friends. We were often late, had to ask strangers for help, and dropped in on folks without warning. It was kinda nice, actually.
As long as phones have been around, we’ve been singing about ‘em. The earliest hit song about the telephone, “Hello Ma Baby”, came out in 1899, just a few years after the phone started to become a part of life. The early phones had no buttons or dials, everything was handled by the operator. When we finally got rotary dial phones in the 40’s, there was a bit of a learning curve, as explained in this helpful film, “How to Dial a Rotary Telephone” :
We don’t really want you to watch this Lady Gaga video for her song “Telephone”. But we included it just to show you that we are fair and balanced. There’s a reason you don’t hear more Gaga on Public Radio and this is it: