Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
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” :

This has to be one of the all-time great phone songs, beating out “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “634-5789” and “867-5309”. And there are no numbers to remember. It’s Al Green and “Call Me”:

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:

Carly Rae Jepsen has created a sugary piece of teenybopper bubblegum sweeter than the Big Rock Candy Mountain. This confection “Call Me Maybe”, will likely cause cavities: