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?

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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One thought 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

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