Telephone Sounds & Recordings

Here are some miscellaneous sounds and parodies that are not categorized elsewhere in the sounds section of the website.

Files are in MP3 format. Click on a link to listen.

Miscellaneous Sounds

Jane Barbe Collection (Streaming MP3) (Regular MP3)
A collection of recordings that are representative of the late Jane Barbe (Wikipedia entry) known unofficially as "The Telephone Lady". Mrs. Barbe, who died in July 2003, had produced many telephone company intercept recordings, as well as lent her voice for used in automated intercept systems, operator assisted dialing systems, and voice mail systems. This collection is representative of the period from 1973 to 1985.

Comparison of Pat Fleet with Jane Barbe
This is a "side-by-side" alternating voice comparison of Jane Barbe with Patricia (Pat) Trumble (now known as Pat Fleet) from AT&T TSPS/OSPS and ACTS operator service platform recordings. Pat has also recorded a number of telephone intercept recordings and the like. Many people often confuse the two, but they are indeed two different people with their own unique styles, as shown here.

Interview with Jane Barbe (Streaming MP3) (Regular MP3) (March 2002)
An interview of Jane Barbe on the NPR (National Public Radio) program "Wait.. Don't Tell Me". Jane was a guest on the segment called "Not My Job".

Pam Bassett MCI Operator Prompts Demo (2005)
Pam Bassett has been the voice of MCI's operator services platforms for the past 10+ years. She is a talented voiceover artist and is for hire. This is a demo from her website that shows her voice talents. Visit her website at www.pambassett.com

Allison Smith IVR Demo (2008)
Allison Smith is a professional voiceover artist for Interactive Voice Resonse (IVR) systems worldwide. She is most famous for being the default voice for the Asterisk open source software-based PBX system. Visit her website at www.theivrvoice.com

Fake Collect Call (Streaming MP3) (Regular MP3)
Pink Floyd's Young Lust is a song on their 1979 album The Wall. The last 45 seconds of the song is a person-to-person collect call to a "Mr. Floyd from Mrs. Floyd" which of course do not exist. You hear the operator make two attempts, one of which you hear international MF sounds and 2400/2600 Hz supervision chirps. I wonder if AT&T ever asked for royalties from this song?



Fake New York Telephone Commercial
A parody of a New York Telephone commercial from the 1970's by Rod Serling (of Twilight Zone fame). This commercial explains how to get rid of prank callers in a not so nice matter. Funny but contains a few words you wouldn't want young children to hear.

The history of this commercial (as supplied by "BL" in February 2008):

I still have one of the original cassette tapes from the day Rod Serling made the recording. I have only recently converted it to digital and was wondering when it would show up on the Internet. There were only about 10 copies made and the originals cuts were destroyed.

Background: New York Tel had a very sophisticated audio and video studio at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. Mr. Serling was recording several commercials for NYT at the time (about 1973-74). He was having a problem with one of the takes and he kept cracking up. It seems that Mr. Serling, the coiner of the phrase "you can't argue with a sick mind, so don't try", did indeed have a sick mind.

He revealed that every time he did a take, these other words would roll around in his head asking to come out. He asked that he just be permitted to get them out of his system so he could carry on with the rest of the takes. In humble awe the creator and chief writer of the Twilight Zone was let loose to speak his mind. What you hear in this recording is Rod Serling, getting the recording demons out of his system.

He was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Charm, grace, a very sick sense of humor, and he always bought the coffee and, cigarettes.

Source: Anonymous Submission

Mama Told Me Not To MF
You've probably heard of people using their Touch Tone (DTMF) keypad to make music. This is similar but different. Imaging using MF (Multi-Frequency) tones to replace the lyrics of a hit song. That's what you get with "Mama Told Me Not to MF" - MF tones and the music from the Three Dog Night song "Mama Told Me Not To Come".
Source: Anonymous Submission

Recordings Jane Barbe Never Made

You Must Dial

Telco Is Very Sorry

It Is Not Necessary

A splice-and-edit job on some common centralized intercept recordings. Very funny.

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Page last modified January 25, 2010
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