Retrospace Mix Tape #12: Telephone Songs

Over the years, there's been a lot of songs referencing the telephone.  Some that come to mind are Jim Croce's "Operator" and the beginning and end of Pink Floyd's "Dirty Woman".  My favorite is probably England Dan and John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" which is done entirely in the style of a one sided phone conversation.

40 B.C. (Before Cordless)

Well, here's a bunch of songs which actually feature the word "telephone" in the title.  Each song is lovingly crafted with its own album art. You can sample a few tracks and/or download the full mix tape. I promise: no Lady Gaga allowed.

Track List

Blondie-  Hanging On The Telephone
Diana Ross - Telephone
Mike Absalom - Dont Tell It On The Telephone
Electric Light Orchestra - Telephone Line
Foreigner Love - On The Telephone
Paul Evans - Hello, This Is Joannie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song)
Hoyt Axton - Telephone Booth
Jimmy Little - Royal Telephone
Johnny Otis - Telephone Baby
Lou Reed - New York Telephone Conversation
Love - The Red Telephone
Meri Wilson - Telephone Man
New Edition - Mr. Telephone Man
Tavares - One Telephone Call Away
Piper (Billy Squier) - Telephone Relation
Ballin' Jack - Telephone
The Flirts - Telephone (Pick Up The)
The Four Top Hatters - 45 Men In A Telephone Booth
Jerry Reed - The Telephone
Bobby Rydell + the Sweet Apple Teenagers - The Telephone Hour
Love & Rockets - The Telephone Is Empty
Stan Getz, Astrud Gilberto - The Telephone Song
Bootsy Collins - What's a Telephone Bill?


Hoyt Axton, the man behind "Joy to the World", contributes my favorite "telephone" titled songs. It's country, but not overbearingly so.

The duo that brought you the definitive version of "The Girl from Ipanema" (Stan Getz, Astrud Gilbert) also brings you this little gem from Brazil - "The Telephone Song"

Easily the dirtiest of the bunch, Meri Wilson's "Telephone Man" lays it all between the lines with over the top innuendo.

A taste of the lyrics:

"Hey, baby, I'm your telephone man
You just show me where you want it and I'll put it where I can
I can put it in the bedroom,
I can put it in the hall
I can put it in the bathroom,
I can hang it on the wall
You can have it with a buzz,
you can have it with a ring
And if you really want it,
you can have a ding-a-ling
Because-a hey baby, I'm your telephone man"

Wilson capitalized on the success of "Telephone Man" and began to specialize in double entendre. She followed up with the songs "Dick The D.J." and "Peter, The Meter Reader" with much less applause.  I think she ended up dying in  a car crash..... sorry to end on a downer.


  1. Love the different mixes you come up with. Very cool stuff, thanks man!

  2. The original "Hanging on the Telephone" is by the Nerves. Blondie did a *great*, probably definitive, version of it, but almost no one knows it's a cover (I didn't for years till someone put it on a mixtape for me). It's finally turned up online:


  3. "Hanging on the Telephone" is NOT a Blondie original?? I have that album (Parallel Lines) and never bothered to look at the song credits.
    By the way, great compilation. My favorite of the bunch is "Telephone Line" by ELO.

  4. Another excellent compilation of songs!

  5. There's one more song to be added to this list, even though it makes reference to a telephone once. I'll quote the line, and let's see if anyone knows the name of the song and the band who recorded it. Here's the line:

    "Remember those nights you stayed alone
    Talkin' on the telephone?..."

  6. Maravilhoso teu Blog! Parabéns!

  7. fyi, the Pink Floyd song you're referencing is called "Young Lust", sir.

  8. The answer to my riddle is "Beating Around The Bush" by AC/DC, from the album "Highway To Hell" (1979).

  9. also a nice song would be palais schaumburgs (holger hiller) - telephon from 1981. "i think im a telephon; romantic little telephon..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXAxGg4zRwA

  10. het man,
    this link is no more operative
    (19 18 2011

  11. The download link isn't working... :(

  12. incredible blog, it helps me a lot to know all about the song related to telephoning since im a teacher, loved it!!!!

  13. Arthur NibbleJuly 07, 2012

    Not forgetting "Tears on The telephone" by Claude Francois, a UK top 40 hit in the 70's where a man's trying to speak to an old flame and ends up talking to her child whilw the woman leaves.