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The Music of Telephones and Holding

By Scott Greggory

Torn Paper Bottom Edge

We were surprised recently when we learned how many songs feature titles and lyrics related to telephones, calling or holding.

There are so many, in fact, that we could easily put together a Spotify playlist to showcase them and still just scratch the surface. So, that’s what we did. Find the music here.

Of course, the words “hold” and “holding” have meaning beyond the holding you might experience after calling a business, but a few of the songs refer to a similar type of wait or not being able to reach a certain person at all, such as Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone,” and ELO’s “Telephone Line.”

The importance of connecting by phone has deep roots throughout our culture. The proof is in 1) the range of artists that use the telephone as a vehicle to tell their stories and 2) how long they’ve been doing it.

In our list alone, the musical genres range from pop, new wave and country to southern rock, blues, electronic and classic rock.

And the release dates span more than five decades. The oldest song in the playlist, Sam & Dave’s Stax classic “Hold On! I’m Comin,'” was produced in 1966. “On Hold” by The xx is the newest recording. It came out in 2017.

We hope you enjoy listening.