When was the Golden Age of Singing Telegrams?

When was the Golden Age of Singing Telegrams? Based on what I see in ads and on popular television, I would say it probably started in the mid to late seventies and ended in the mid eighties. This ad for “Monkey Business”, which is a nationwide service, came out right in the heart of the trend and offered some amazing characters to deliver heartfelt well-sung messages. Included in their singer menagerie is Mr. Wonderful, Fatima, the Jelly Belly Dancer, Polly Darton, Super Stud, Roller Skatin’ Hussy, J.R. Pewing/Tex La Touche, Red Hot Mama, Circus Ring Master and more.

Has anyone out there received a singing telegram? Did your singer fit any of these “zanies”? If not, which of these would you like to have received?

Follow

The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
Follow

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

2 thoughts on “When was the Golden Age of Singing Telegrams?

  1. Nice post and it is good to see someone posting about singing telegrams.
    I myself started doing singing telegrams in 1982, and I was the first in The UK.
    I did 40 of these on Valentine’s Day 1982, and turned down 250 people because I could not fit them in. Many of those people booked birthday, weddings, hen party, leaving, retirement , thank you and I love you singing telegrams, there and then so I had a ready made business over night.
    My unique take on the business was to do personalised songs, containing funny information about the person I was singing about. Almost a year later, came the kissagram and the strippergram which were the novelties of the day. Like some of the characters in your list these were quite sleazy. If the purpose of the telegram is for the performer to look pretty and flirt with the recipient, it will never be pleasant to receive. In fact they used to use the word “Victim” about the recipient. Today, at least in the UK, the kissagram is all but gone and the strippergram has moved into the adult industry where it always belonged. Nowadays, a stripogram is very rude and would shock most people.
    I myself recently did a degree in Popular music at University, and learned how to not only write the songs in a more professional way but also put them on to full band production audio CD, professionally presented with the clients photos printed on to the body of the CD and the cover too. I soon realised that these things would take the singing telegram to another level. I did some research and found that there were approximately 30 searches per month for singing telegrams in the UK. This is the same amount I used to do in a week. So yes I can confirm that in terms of volume, The 80s was the golden age of the singing telegram.
    However, I would like to add that the present day is pretty good too. Today I create very special experiences that have a full band production audio CD, and a photo laminated lyric sheet, to help people remember this surprise forever, not forget about them as soon as the performer has left. I actually make more money than I used to in the eighties, even though I did a lot more performances. I have also learned how to make green screen videos and put our singing telegram performances on DVD, So that our live performers do their personalised performance in front of a choice of different video backgrounds, including photos and video clips the client has sent me. I am sending these DVDs all around the world, so I have many more potential clients than just one city.
    So in conclusion I would like to say that the present day is The golden age of the singing telegram, although it is true that other businesses may not be experiencing that.

    for reference: my website is

    So thanks again for a great post

    Mike The Minstrel

  2. I was there in 1980’s …..singing telegrams and wearing costumes like the ‘Red Hot Momma’, ‘Fatima the Belly Dancer”, “FIFI- the French Maid”, and the “Mad Hussy”!!! Those were some fun days. I was just a young girl wanting to be an entertainer. Charlotte NC was and still is our hub to Monkey Around. You say do you remember? YES and WE are STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Monkey Business is full of fun.

    We are busy taking requests for singing telegrams, and gift deliveries for Valentine’s Day 2018! I started working for Monkey Business in 1986 and worked full time thru 1989. The owner wanted to sell out and I bought the business. I have been so blessed to work with so many talented people. We have entertained and performed for many people aging in the range of 1 to 99 years of age! Back before the year of 2000 we didn’t have social media. I am not sure if that was a blessing or not. I would love to see some pictures from the past. Now we video live performances before we walk out of the person’s home and posting it on to the internet.

    Some things don’t ever change: Like surprising a friend with a pretty bouquet of balloons and a song with a costume; or going to a birthday party and entertaining children in a costume. We also provide magic, face painting, balloon twisting, crafts, bubbles, popcorn, cotton candy. Other things are changing. We are a part of ILEA- the International Live Events Association and work with people all over the world planning special events and supplying one of a kind entertainment for corporate events, gala’s, weddings, grand openings and non profits. We have been selected as a vendor for the public library; and we are creating summer camp programs for folks in SC and NC.. Let me know if I can assist you and your community. Call 704-332-7464. AND THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for always supporting us and using Monkey Business for your entertainment needs. It’s been a pleasure serving you. All the best, Peggy Washko.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.