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Posts Tagged ‘singing telegram

“I’m Your Puppet”*…

 

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What have you been doing during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

Binging on boxsets? Drinking too much? Self-medicating? Finding all your good clothes have shrunk from lack of wear?

All of the above?

George Miller spent his time lockdown making a set of beautiful marionettes featuring some of the biggest stars of rock ‘n’ roll, country, and R&B.

Miller is a Glasgow-based artist, singer, musician and iconic pop figure who’s better known as the front man to the legendary Kaisers and more recently the New Piccadillys…

Over the past few months, he would post a photograph of his latest marionette in progress. Sculpting heads of rock stars like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly or country greats like Johnny Cash. They were beautiful, fabulous models, which were then dressed by Ursula Cleary and placed in boxes designed by Chris Taylor…

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From the ever-illuminating Dangerous Minds, “Your favorite rock ‘n’ roll, country and R&B legends as marionettes.”

* song written by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham; most famously recorded by James & Bobby Purify

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As we pull the string, we might recall that it was on this date in 1933 that the first singing telegram was delivered.  On that day, a fan sent Hollywood singing star Rudy Vallee a birthday greeting by telegram.  George P. Oslin, the Western Union public relations director, decided this would be a good opportunity to make telegrams, which had been associated with deaths and other tragic news, into something more popular.  He asked a Western Union operator, Lucille Lipps, to sing the message over the telephone… et viola!

The initial response within the company was not-so-positive; Oslin recalled that he “was angrily informed I was making a laughingstock of the company.”  But the service caught on.  As relatively few telegram recipients had telephones in the 1930s, most telegrams, including singing telegrams, were first delivered in person.  As the phone caught on, delivery shifted there– but demand for telegrams began to drop.  Western Union suspended the service in 1974, though it survives as a novelty provided by independent companies.

TelephoneOperators2 source

 

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