Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do You Have Prince Albert In A Can?

Let him out!

A cousin of mine and I were talking about party line telephones on Facebook yesterday and I started thinking about one of the songs in this post.  I don't know how common party lines are in the rest of the world so if you're confused a party line was (is probably still in some places) a telephone line shared by multiple households.  You could tell a call was for your household based on the number of rings.  It was used as the cute meet in Pillow Talk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson where they keep picking up the line during each other's calls.  The hunting camp I talked about here shared a party line with my grandfather's sister across the road.

Anyway, there are lots of songs about phones and phone numbers, of course, but the one I was thinking about above is this one by Glenn Miller.  "Pennsylvania 6-5000" was a phone number (according to the movie starring the magnificent Jimmy Stewart it was Miller's wife's phone number) and the first two letters of Pennsylvania corresponded to the first two numbers in the exchange (in this case 73).

Probably the most famous phone number in rock history is this one:  867-5309.  Who you gonna call?  Jenny, of course.  This number was the source of lots of headaches for owners and the phone company alike.  See the wikipedia page for litigation that's STILL falling out.

"Hang Up the Phone" by Annie Golden isn't about a party line but it is about pesky people who tie up the line when you're waiting for your sweetie to call.  It was one of the most fun songs on the Sixteen Candles soundtrack.

So, yeah, I'm hanging up now (ha!).  You all have a good day!

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