90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

September 29 5 Comments

Michigan Coach Faces Criticism For Keeping QB In Play

University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris was having trouble standing on his own after a major sack. The coach kept him in the game.

September 29 26 Comments

Methodist Pastor Faces Last Church Trial

Reverend Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex marriage and later reinstated, awaits one more church trial. He writes about the experience in a new memoir.

September 29 7 Comments

Monarch Butterflies Could Be On Rebound

After precipitous declines in the monarch butterfly population, there are signs the species may be on the rebound.

September 26 4 Comments

Dean Of Boston Sports Journalism Celebrates 42 Years On The Job

Here & Now's Robin Young visits the most-beloved sportscaster you've never heard of: Jonny Miller.