PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Western Union Tries To Freshen Up The Singing Telegram

Snoop Dogg at the Snoop Dogg Supafest 2011.(Eva Rinaldi)

Snoop Dogg at the Snoop Dogg Supafest 2011.(Eva Rinaldi)

Western Union, the telegraph and global payment company, is bringing back its singing telegram. And they’re adding some glitz.

Instead of being serenaded on your birthday by a Western Union representative, now the likes of rappers Snoop Dogg or K’naan will wish you well–though they won’t actually show up on your doorstep, the greetings are delivered via email.

And the celebs aren’t singing alone– the person sending the telegram gets to add their voice too, creating a duet of sorts.

Singing telegrams first started in 1933 and Western Union ended the service in 2006 to focus on its money transfer business.

“We’re bringing them back in a virtual and social way, in tune with the times,” Diane Scott, executive vice president of Western Union in Englewood, Colo. told the New York Times.

Right now the telegrams are free, but Western Union plans to begin charging eventually.

Guest:

  • Pat Vialpando, who used to deliver singing telegrams the old fashioned way

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 27 Comment

Parched Rivers, Grasslands Choke California Wildlife

Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd reports there is no relief in sight for California farmers and wildlife ravaged by drought.

May 27 17 Comments

Comedy Writer Brings ‘The Tweet Of God’ To Broadway

"An Act of God," starring Jim Parsons, was born out of David Javerbaum's parody Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod.

May 26 4 Comments

Old-Fashioned Bell Helps 12-Year-Old Minnesota Boy Battle Cancer

David Gerfast and his family are fighting cancer with an old-fashioned ship captain's bell and high-tech proton beam radiation.

May 26 2 Comments

Just (Lobster) Roll With It: Variations On A Summer Tradition

In New England, lobster rolls are a summer tradition, but if you ask 100 chefs how to make one, you'll get 100 different answers.