Information on this useful yet mysterious device called the telephone
Connections Museum (Seattle)
A working Panel and Crossbar electromechanical central-office switches.
Working Step-by-Step and Crossbar PBX equipment as well as antique
telephones, switchboards, outside plant displays (poles, cables,
splicing equipment, and tools) and a reference library.
Evan Doorbell's Phone Tapes
Evan Doorbell Phone Tapes are a well known "documentary" of how the phone system used
to sound like in the 1970's.
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Description of the Dial A Joke type recordings
In the L.A. area, Ben's upbeat message was one of earlier better known ones. Vermont (213- VERMONT or 837-6668) came
into existence sometimes in the late 1960's. The Machine (213-833-3339) came next, and then Zzzzzz (213-836-5566),
officially it started with six Z's. Zzzzzz was also listed as "A" in the phone book. It had started out not with the
intent of playing material over the phone, but of having the first and last listing in the directory.
Vermont and The Machine both used multi-message formats. Each
time someone called, they had a chance of hearing a different message.
Sometime after Zzzzzz started receiving calls from curious souls
wondering what the phone listing was about, they began playing
messages. Originally they played only one message a day, and changed it regularly.
Aardvark Located in San Diego 222-2111
I didn't hear too many since it was long distance. But at one time you where able to call it from Disneyland for
FREE. The old weather phones where restricted to certain digits. The number was 222-2111. Eventually the phones at Disneyland went away.
Thanks to Tom from The Machine and his archives
Ben Located near downtown Los Angeles 483-7040 Started in the mid to late 1960's
An inspirational recording telling how great things are and singing of
"Happy Days Are Here Again". It was suppose to been out of a motel near downtown Los Angeles.
Al Diamond mentioned on one of his tapes that he had called this recording as far back as 1961
I found a better copy after going through The Machine archive. Thanks to Tom from The Machine and
I also found an older version among the tapes that Tom Santa Monica sent me. There may have been more
because of the tape wearing out.
Ben Recording 31 Jan 1970
Convex Culver City Number 559-1974
Northridge Number 993-1974 Stated in 1974
The Northridge number wasn't up for very long. It had some funny jokes. The best was the football players.
Dial-A-Joke Mark Robbins, Ira Goldstein, Ben Weinberg and Jan Lucas Located in Reseda 881-2345
then changed to 990-5653 and finally on the mass calling prefix (520) where all of the radio stations have their
request numbers, 520-9646. This number did not have the same calling area as the other two. This one was in the
Hollywood rate. By then the recordings were rarely changed. I heard that it was in a closet somewhere in Reseda.
I would guess that it started around 1970. A friend, Raymond Childs told me about it while in summer
school. He found out about it from a poster on a phone pole. These where the first recordings that I heard.
History of Dial-A-Joke (from Mark Robbins's perspective):
Mark Robbins and Ira Goldstein were living in an apartment on Yarmouth Street in Encino, California. Jan Lucas and
Ben Weinberg were visiting. They were listening to a radio skit called Dial-A-Dirty-Joke. The light bulb went off in
their minds. Let's start "Dial-A-Joke" where people can call a telephone number and get a joke.
We decided that Jan Lucas would be the voice of Dial-A-Joke, Mark Robbins would be responsible for building and
maintaining the answering machine (later to be the custom Dial-A-Joke machine). Ira Goldstein and Ben Weinberg were
responsible for content and production of the Dial-A-Joke tapes.
So we hooked up a telephone company answering machine. I believe that it was a Code-A-Phone 770 (it was illegal to
hook up anything else in those days) and recorded a joke. As I recall, it was:
You have dialed Dial-A-Joke Two Chickens was talking. The first chicken said "The farmer gets 50 cents a dozen for my
eggs". The second chicken said "Well, the farmer gets 55 cents a dozen for my eggs and my eggs are bigger". The first
chicken says "I should bust my ass for a lousy nickel? You have dialed Dial-A-Joke"
We also got a rubber stamp made that said "Dial-A-Joke 881-2345"
and stamped hundreds of business card sized pieces of paper and then passed them out in the local malls.
Immediately, we started receiving back to back calls and Code-A-Phone started to fail under the load. It was clear
that we needed a more durable solution. Mark"s solution was an 8 track tape player. About 30 different jokes were
recorded on a mobious loop tape (8 track tape). There were two tracks recorded on the tape. The first track had the
joke on it. The second track had a beep tone after each joke which turned off the machine. We also put a counter on
the machine. When we retired the machine, it had over a million calls logged.
Almost immediately after Dial-A-Joke started, the Pacific Bell telephone exchange was overloaded with calls. Most
people were getting a busy signal but quickly discovered that they could talk to each other in the silence between
busy signals. The phone company called us and told us that we would need to increase our phone lines from one to 30.
A special interface box between our equipment and the phone line was required to be rented from the phone company for
$30 each. That would have put us out of business so we created a recording asking listeners to come down to the phone
company for a rally. We alerted the press and both radio and television were going to cover the event. We received a
call from the local Pacific Bell executive who wanted to meet with us. He came over to our apartment and we had a
friend picking up the phone and holding the handset up to a tape player to play the caller a joke (remember it was
illegal to connect directly to the phone line). We negotiated three phone lines (instead of 30) with him and we were
allowed to connect our machines directly to the phone line. In return, we issued a retraction telling callers not to
show up at the rally. Pacific Bell was ready the morning of the rally. They served donuts, juice and coffee for anyone
that happened to show up.
On Friday nights, a group of friends came to our apartment and we recorded jokes. On Saturday nights we answered
live and met lots of people. Mark met his long time girlfriend Bonnie Cordova on Dial-A-Joke and thereafter his wife
Dial-A-Joke was dissolved when Mark and Ira moved out of their apartment. After Mark moved to Denver in the mid
70's he met Robert Moore and they took the original Dial-A-Joke machine out of moth balls and put it into service for
a short time. I don't remember the number.
The link between Dial-A-Joke 881-2345 and Z, ZZ, ZZZ:
My mother wanted to see what Dial-A-Joke was all about. She dialed 981-2345 instead of 881-2345 and reached Joe
Klein who was the production manager of Z, ZZ, ZZZ. They talked a while and she called me and said "You have to meet
Joe Klein." I met Joe and Bob Bilkiss of Z, ZZ, ZZZ and we became inseparable.
Reappearing again in August 1973
Located In Sherman Oaks
All Ten Recordings
New Recordings as of November 1973
All 28 Recordings
Some old & new from the Master Tapes
Thanks to Mark Robbins
After this last set of recordings the number was changed to the mass calling prefix 520 (520-9646 or 520-YOHO). After that the recordings where rarely changed. Al Bernay made fun of some of the recordings on his line.
The playback equipment was still located in the Reseda area after the phone number change. I heard it was locked
up in a closet.
Dial-A-Joke Run by Mt. Hood Chemicals Located in Portland Oregon The Makers of the C-20 laundry soap.
Running through the late 70's. A new recording every weekday.
Dial-A-Joke Run by Steve Wozniak 255-6666 or 575-1625
Two decades ago, Stephen Gary Wozniak owned the first Dial-A-Joke service in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1973, Woz
was working for Hewlett-Packard. His Dial-A-Joke service got more than 2,000 calls a day. He rented answering
equipment from the phone company and often used a telephone lineman's handset to take calls live from his tiny kitchen
in Cupertino or while lying on the mattress in his bedroom. Extremely shy, Woz didn't have much of a chance to
talk to women, but he met his first wife, Alice Robertson, when she called Dial-A-Joke. Robertson heard a man say,
"I bet I can hang up faster than you" - and then he did. Naturally, she called back. A more elegant
object-poem on the nature of modern romance is hard to imagine. There had been so many calls that he had to keep
changing the number. Anyone with a similar number would get 100 calls a day. Steve operated Dial-a-Joke
out of his Cupertino apartment.
Steve used a thick Eastern accent, like Russian, and used the name Stanley Zebrezuskinitsky when he took live calls.
Dial-A-Joke Run by James Wayman Located in DesMoines Iowa, then Crescent City California
976-Joke, then 1-707-487-Joke Started in 1986
In 1986 James Wayman started the second 976# in the state of Iowa. The first
976# was coach Hayden Frey of the U-of Iowa's sports line. Wayman started
Dial a Joke (1-976-Joke). The caller was Billed 75 cents for 3 minutes of
jokes. Wayman recorded a new daily 3 minute joke program at midnight. He sold
Dial a Joke to start his humor magazine, https://888821.tripod.com After the
Des Moines Dial a Joke, Wayman started a free joke line in Crescent City,
California.(1-707-487-Joke). Read more on his webpage: James Wayman's Dial-A-Joke Page
Doi Qua Run by Mountain Bill Located in Louisiana
Dr. Don Rose
Smile-A-Phone Radio Station KFRC 610-AM 415-982-8778 Started sometime in 1977
New recordings every business day. Dr. Don Rose was the
morning DJ on 610 KFRC in San Francisco. Some of the same material was on
his radio program. He won some kind of an award for being on some station in
Atlanta. The recordings ended in 1980. I use to call it through my work's phone network. Dr. Don Rose just passed away 3/29/2005.
All of the above recordings
Fluke Run by The Guys Below Located in Mar Vista 391-5336 Started in 1974
This line had the best original material. It was not like Convex, Zzzzzz, or the Machine.
Thanks to "Uncle Jeffy" for sending two 90-minutes
cassettes of Fluke Recordings from the master tapes and from the 8-track loops.
Back Row: Uncle Jeffy, Fluke (Ed with his dog Cinder), Brent, & George
Front Row: Bruce & Kirk
Al Bernay visits Fluke
Thanks to the guys from "The Wrong Number"
saving it all these years and sending me a copy.
Ed Desser, George Dale and Jeff Deckman
Recordings directly from the phone line.
Fluke In Spanish
King And His Throne
King Henry The 8th
The Hat Shop
All Five Recordings
Below Are Taken From The Master Tapes & 8-Track Loops
Cooking With Martha & Uncle Jeffy / Engineer Frank Recordings
Cooking With Martha
Uncle Jeffy & Engineer Frank
Chili Con Carne
Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Knock Knock Joke
An Italian Specialty
Storytime With Uncle Jeffy & Drama Recordings
Storytime With Uncle Jeffy
The Farmer & Nate
Dawson's Creek: Big Jake
Steinbrook Billingsly, Private Eye
The Al Bernay Story
Last Train To Shanghi
Stu As Guest and Commercial Spoofs
Guest Voice Stu
Alpo Brand Dog Food
Late Late Late Show
Balpha Ada Markets #1
Gargitan for Women
Blue Chip Stamps
Good For Nothing Kid
Dying Of Thirst
After The Pepsi Test
Want A Baby Kitten
Stu Taping Jeffy's Voice
Balpha Ada Markets #2
Remaining Fluke Recordings
A Fluke Representative
A Hint To Baseball Players
Analyzing The Script
Answer Live Night
Bar Room Life
Battle Of The Network Extras
Behind The Scenes: The Joke Inspector
Best Idea Contest
Best of Fluke Intro #1
Best of Fluke Intro #2
Boy In Department Store
Can You Beat That
Chick Hearn: Lakers Tickets
Coming Attractions At Fluke
Congressman At A Reservation
Cucamunga Int'l Airport
Dirty Joke Request
Editorial Reply: Pig Latin
Eye Missed It News
Fluke Money Monster
Gameshow Host At Home
Giant Purple Elephant
Holiday Greetings (1975)
House Of Relief
In The Beginning
Interviewing A 108 Year Old Man
Johann Sebastian Bach
KILL Radio: Al Bernay
Knock Knock: Banana
Knock Knock: Madda
Knock Knock: Ring
Locked Out Of Car
Lost Boy & The Old Man
Moron Drinking Milk
Most Asked Question
Mouse And The Martini
News For The Hard Of Hearing
On The Line Talk Show
Price Of A Chair
Response To Answer Live Night
Shooting A Blue Elephant
Short Clip Outtake #1
Short Clip Outtake #2
Short Clip Outtake #3
Short Clip Outtake #4
Sign On The Door
Snot Paper Towels
Special Report On Pickles
Outtake: Spitting Contest
Studio Live Easter Week #1
Studio Live Easter Week #2
The Better Sounding Fluke
The Moron Lady
The Moron Raking Leaves
The Sea And The Falling Rainbow
The Vending Machine
Typical American Kitchen
World Of Fluke
Worlds Dumbest Astronauts
Watch Repair Shop
Woman That Thinks She's A Dog
Zoologist Sidney Cromwell
IT Bill, Dean, Michael & Raymond Located in Mar Vista 391-1111 & 397-2774 Started Around 1970
During the first few weeks of "IT", the phone
number was 397-2774. That number was soon replaced by 391-1111.
The phone line was located at Bill's parents' house.
The "IT" answering machine was their own design,
using relays, open-reel endless tape loops, and some other hacked-together
stuff. An AC-powered electromechanical call counter (which Dean still has)
went CLICK-CLACK when the machine would take a call. In the wee hours of the
morning, the call counter could wake the dead.
Back then, linerunners all lived in fear of the phone company. Putting
your own answering machine on the phone line was illegal, unless you had a
DAA provided by the phone company, which hardly anyone did. The
"IT" guys eventually got in hot water with the
phone company, and had to rent a DAA from General Telephone.
General Telephone sent out a phone man who had no clue of how to install a
DAA. After giving up on installing the DAA, the phone man suggested that
they just continue using the machine hooked directly to the line. The phone
man told them that, as long as they paid for the DAA, there wouldn't be any
trouble. He wasn't about to admit to his supervisor that he couldn't figure
out how to install the DAA, so the secret was safe with him. The DAA just
sat, gathering dust, and General Telephone never bothered them again.
The answering machine was housed in a wooden box, which they nicknamed
"Pandora's Box", since opening it would often cause
the circuitry to fail. There were lots of wires running every which way. A
later design was built on a homemade printed circuit board. Tape, donuts and
ferric chloride were the technology. They taped directly onto copper-clad
board, and etched it in a Pyrex beaker while heating it over Bill's mom's
stove. No matter how careful they were, ferric chloride stains ended up everywhere.
There was a soft drink back then
called "Simba". The ads for it were just screaming
to be made fun of. The ads featured a gruff-voiced announcer telling about
how, when on an African safari,
"The African sun beats down on you.
The African thirst strikes!
You reach for -- Simba. SIMBA!!
IT GOES FOR THE THROAT!!".....
One of IT's most popular recordings was a tape called "Bimba", making
fun of those ads.
Three It Recordings
More It Recordings
Laffline Located in Northridge 993-1010 Started in 1973 "You've Reached That Far Out Feeling Of Friendly Phone Fun"
Laffline had good original content. A bit like Fluke and "Z".
I won an album from their answer live night in 1975. Their sponsor was "Moby
Disc" in Van Nuys when it was on Victory near Van Nuys Blvd.
Recordings from the phone
Stuff 'n' Mold
Recordings from the Master Tapes
New June 2021
Shell Answer Man
Daffy Deffinitions - Light
Bills 2 Pay
Daffy Deffinitions - Molotov
Daffy Deffinitions - Sheet
Don't Shoot Up
Jokeline Exorcism Part 1
Jokeline Exorcism Part 2
Live Promo #1
Live Promo #2
Stupid Questions #5
Stupid Questions #6
Second audio reel.
Answer Live #2
Answer Live #3
Answer Live #4
Good And Bad
Help Thy Neighbor
Poster Contest #1
Poster Contest #2
Stupid Questions #1
Stupid Questions #2
Stupid Questions #3
Stupid Questions #4
The Machine Run By Tom, Steve & Tom San Pedro 833-3339 (Back On Their Old Numbeer)
Mar Vista 822-2329
Orange County 714-833-3339 The Machine was started on September 12, 1968
The original members were Tom and Tom, then Steve. Very quickly then
Robin, Holly, Lewis , Jerry, Paul, Mike, Mike (two of them). Still later add Carl and Jose.
The Machine was once disconnected for frying the step-by-step equipment it
was on. Having peaked at more than 2,000 calls in one day on a single line in
a residential connector group, you can imagine. A worried switch man said
that, of eight local connectors serving the phone numbers which were then
213-833-33XX, one was almost always connected to The Machine. One was almost
always broken because of the high volume. At least half of the rest were
dialing in or listening to a busy signal.
Sometime after that, it re-emerged with a different number. 213-833-2405. For
about one year, it operated with 5 lines in rotary. Later, when the 833
prefix was moved from step to ESS#5, The Machine moved back to 833-3339.
The Machine operated on a variety of other numbers, including 213-836-5556
(selected to be in the miss-dialing shadow for Zzzzzz), and 714-833-3339 and
213-822-2329 among them. All of these were considered satellite numbers to
the "The Machine Telephone Entertainment Network". The term was mockingly pretentious.
The Machine runs on rare occasion right now. Need new gear, and have
little time to set it up -- let alone make decisions as to what gear to get.
Most of its recordings are archived in storage. The cast and crew (first,
second and third companies) have all scattered to different parts of the
country and world. Many of the recordings are now very dated. There are some
commercial products, for example, that are now more outlandish than some of our satires.
Comment: I use to call the number once in a while at 833-3339. Later
came the number for Mar Vista 822-2329. That was local to me since I lived in
Van Nuys at the time. My group of friends had the opportunity to run the Mar
Vista area's Machine. Our project ended and we couldn't provide a new home for it.
LIBRARY 1 BOX 006
The New End January 5th
LIBRARY 1 BOX 014
Misc Recordings & Takes
Rumor Control 2
In The Beginning Plus Caller (Stereo)
Scientific Home Project
Or Not To Write
Forcasting The News
Senator Throm Sterman
Callers Write In
Callers Write In 2
Callers Write In 3
Callers Write In 4
Super Agnew Announcement
Machine City Highway
I Am The Machine
Get Down Machine
Sex Week 2
Super Agnew Announcement 2
Spiro Agnew Shoe Polish
How The Machine Works
An Operator Eating Spider
Another Pun Joke
Search For Something
Pigmy Shrew Hiding
Speed Of Sound
Bagel Lox Off
Mainline Located in North Hollywood 765-6000 Started in 1973
Stu gave me this number when he was running "The Shokus
Hotline" when he had a "Request Night". It must have
started in 1973. It ran for two years and revived in 1979 by Bryan W. Feedback
for two more years. I wish I still had my copies of the Mainline.
Here is an exerpt from one of the guys that ran Mainline (6/2/2006):
That was run by a very close friend of mine, Mike Levey.
In fact just last year I actually set the old Mainline equipment out in the trash after storing it for the past 25 + years.
I may even have the original recordings some place. The old tapes from the mainline were on 4-track and were lost many years ago due to water damage.
The system used Altec line amplifiers to connect to the phone line, it was illegal back then to hook anything to
the phone line so we were kind of skirting the law. A home made breadboard was used to sense ringing and connect the
line to the amplifiers and turn on the tape. The tape machines were 4 track type made by Telex with foil sensors for EOT.
We only had 3 lines in rotary and they were always busy. Now and then we would put an old Code-a-phone answering
machine on it and hear what people thought about it and where they were from. They were from all over the country, a
lot of phone operators and telephone linemen would call to test their lines and listen to the latest jokes.
Mike, of infomercial fame, was one of the people that started the mainline and it is his wife at the time, Paula
that you hear as the sexy bimbo in many of the recordings. It is a shame that your recordings are of such poor
quality, all of the originals were done on 15 ips 2 track tapes in a real recording studio in Hollywood, and the
quality was perfect.
The Mainline was actually built as a prototype to sell to places like MacDonald's and Jack in
the Box. The plan was that we would place a machine at each of the stores and supply them with fresh material on a
monthly basis with a short advertisement at the end for the company. It was getting a bit of interest but for some
reason no one wanted to be the first one so we gave up on it and all went our separate ways. I had hosted it at my
house for a year at 213-783-8738 (back when Encino was 213) for a year before I finally shut it down and stored it
in the garage. By then the material was getting old and no one had the time to go play in the studio.
Mike who started it went on to infomercial fame with his show Amazing Discoveries and Ask Mike, and did very well
for himself. Sadly he passed away from asbestos induced cancer. Not sure where that came from as he
never worked with it as far as we know.
Marshall O'Dell Run by Marshall O'Dell Located in the San Fernando Valley Started in the late 1970's
"R" Run by Randy 454-1904 Located in Pacific Palisades 454-1904 Started in 1971
"You've Dialed 454-1904, The Home Of "R".
They had a write up in the Los Angeles Times and at one time had to shut down
temporarily because of the phone calls overloading the central office. It
came back on again but for a short while. Some of the material I had heard
on available records. Two skits where from a stereo test record that Radio
Shack sold from "Audio Fidelity Records". One was the "Elevator" and the other was "Russian Roulette".
Recording For 25 March 1974
Superfone Run by Joe Klein, with partners, John LaSalle, & Dick Peabody Located in Sherman Oaks 986-9800 Started in 1973
Formally known as John Shannon, producer and the primary voice of Zzzzzz, Superfone was started
by Klein and his partners as an early attempt to monitize a world wide network, specifically the telephone network.
The line was run out of Joe's apartment in Sherman Oaks. The plan was to create a series of comedy recordings and,
later, audio cartoon serials for major fast food retailers.
Mark Robbins of "Dial-A-Joke" fame designed and built the answering system and had also designed
innovative circuitry allowing the callers to blow into a "Secret Whistle" obtained at the restaurant to access
the program material. Although the whistle-access technology was never actually implemented, Superfone served as
the pilot program to demonstrate the concept to the corporations and advertising agencies. It was also used as a
research tool to gather call statistics (ie. calls received, busy signals, etc.) to supply to prospective advertisers.
At first, random comedy skits in the genre of "Z" ran on the line. Later on, the first series,
"The Adventures Of Napkin Man" was featured, followed by a "spinoff" series entitled
"The Life Of Rodney."
The line was operated for less than a year and discontinued when the fast food chains that the promotion was
created for decided that the technology involved would be too costly to implement on a national scale.
Klein's last foray into telephone entertainment was about ten years later when he started a promotional
telephone recording line called the "Spotline."
This was a line used to promote Klien's production company, L.A. Trax, Inc., which was the leading
producer of commercials for major label record albums. The "Spotline" featured a new national
radio spot from the company every week and operated for aproximately one year in the early 1980's.
In 2005 Klein started a new company,
The Podcast Voice Guys,
which specializes in producing voice overs and fully produced audio elements for major podcasts worldwide.
Recordings 1972 - 1974
University Medical Center
Contest Of The Century
Discount Appliance Company
Little Orphan Annie
Make Your Request
Secret Fruit Of The Month
Tapping The Line
Telephone Driving Instructor
The Mad Doctor
Tongue Twister Of The Week
Man On The Street
The Adventures Of Napkinman
Napkinman Episode #1
Napkinman Episode #2
Napkinman Episode #3
Napkinman Episode #4
Napkinman Episode #5
Napkinman Episode #6
Napkinman Episode #7
Napkinman Episode #8
The Life Of Rodney Series
Rodney & Lester Poster Offer
Answer Live Night Announcement
Tummies Located in Northridge 886-6437 Started Sometime in 1975 running until 1977
One of the first lines Nino was involved with.
The number spelled out "Tummies" 886-6437.
After the line went down, I heard some of the recordings that where left on one of
the comment lines. The recordings where very short starting with
"You've Dialed Tummies". They must have been 10-seconds or less each.
Recordings That Played On Fluke 1975
From Master Tape
Recordings That Played On Fluke
From Master Tape
More, Thanks To Tom Santa Monica
And More, Thanks To Tom Santa Monica
The End, Thanks To Tom Santa Monica
Uncle Bill Located in San Pedro 548-6000 Uncle Bill was born after "The Machine"went away.
Two of the 3 main people that ran The Machine are friends of Uncle Bill. The actual answering machine that was
first used for Uncle Bill was the old one Tom had built for"The Machine".
It worked fine, just kept killing 8 track tape players. At its peek Uncle Bill received about 1200
calls a day. The master tapes still exist on reel-to-reel as well as copied onto cassette.
Here is one recording:
Vermont Located in Culver City 837-6668 Maybe the oldest of all the joke lines. Not very many recordings made. It was off the hook most of the time.
They ran the same type of recordings as "Zzzzzz".
Heard that they where neighbors with the people that ran "Zzzzzz",
in the same apartment complex in Palms.
The Wrong Number Run by Rich Hurley & Jim Parkyn Voices: Rick Hurley, Jim Parkyn, David Wolf & Dean Mertz Several Numbers in 714 & 213 Ran during late 70's. The Wrong Number
was started long before Zygot but well after "Z".
It sounded like a mixture of recordings that where a cross between Zygot
and recordings from Zzzzzz. There where several numbers located around the
714 & 213 areacode.
There used to be an answering machine that was dubbed"The
Ear". It was run by a group called SERTOMA,"Service To
Mankind". It actually attempted to administer a hearing test over the
phone lines!!! It appeared to meet the old PacBell rules about non-danger to
phone lines by being battery powered (no AC power connections). There would
be contests to see how many calls it would take to bring the Ear down. One
day Rich, who had quite a nice home-built recording studio, taped the Ear and
then re-dubbed it with sound effects, music, and comments. Jim said that we
should have our own Ear, or "The Other Ear" and built a VERY crude
answering machine using a cassette player.
The original Ear's number was 714-532-5252 so I obtained 714-535-5252 in an Anaheim step office.
Rich modified his dubbed Ear tape to say something like
"If you were trying to reach SERTOMA, you've gotten
'THE WRONG NUMBER'
Hence, the name stuck and even 411 Operators knew to refer people to 535-5252!
One of the best PR occurrences was when either Jobs or Wozniak admitted on
a TV talk show that he used to phone phreak and would call the Wrong Number.....
The machines went through a number of 'morphings but the final "Mass Production" version was as follows;
AC powered 8-track drive with integral cooling fan for constant speed and longevity.
Built-in EQ circuit to match the typical phone line audio response.
A "power" amp audio driver and matching transformer to deliver the EQ's output.
Line-reversal detect to reset upon early hang-ups rather than wait for the end of a selection.
Two-tone cueing was used to make the pick-up and hang-up timing match the recorded materials timing.
A little bit of logic and timing to make the pick-up occur after ring voltage had occurred. Less of a
voltage hit on the audio output circuits.
Childrens Levity Fund
Thanks to Rich Hurley & Jim Parkyn
Wrong Number Theme
Wrong Number Calls 2
Wrong Number Chipmunk Call
Timothy Leary Wrong Nuimber
Wrong Number Commercial 1
Wrong Number Commercial 2
Phone Wars 1
Phone Wars 2
Phone Wars 3
Original Wrong Number
Prank Phone Call Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company
Mysteries Beyond Belief
Phone Shopping Network with Richie Rippenoff
American Upsidedown Builders Commercial
Garbo the Robot
Jr Pesticide Kit
Lorenzo No Frills Airline Commercial
Telephone Repair Service
Rheemco Master Baster
200 Years Ago
Anti Drug Commercial
au revoir Perfume Fred May Tribute
Children's Levity Fund
Announcer: David Wolf
Chisler Mail Order Steak House
First Motor Church of Christ
Give Me Back the Presidency
Hollywood Flem Bank
House of Phones Commercial
Nictaphone Lack of Communication Satellite
Secret of Life
Richard M Nixon I did it Contest
Voices: David Wolf & Dean Mertz
Nixon's voice by David Wolf
Pisson Oil Commercial
Telephone Breath Test with PU Music
Telephone Breath Test 2
Trade School Management School Cheerleaders
Telephone Shopping Network Digital Talking Toilet
For A Good Time Call 979-1000
Secret of Life
Lie Wittness News 1 San Leaky
Lie Wittness News 2 Illeagal Fudger
Lie Wittness News 3 Commercial
Lie Wittness News Commercial Bed Outtake
Lie Wittness News 4 Beef Snorting
Lie Wittness News 5 Pisson Oil Flag Burning
Lie Wittness News 6 Cock Fight
Lie Wittness News Nixon Sex Change Operation
Jimmy Carters Answering Machine Messages 1
Jimmy Carters Answering Machine Messages 2
Jimmy Carters Answering Machine Messages 3
Wrong Number Language Course Indian
Voiced by Dean Mertz
Wrong Number Language Course Japanese
Voiced by Dean Mertz
Wrong Number Stinger
Wrong Number Stinger 2
Wrong Number Stinger 4
Zygot Run by Joe "Zygot"
with the help of many Numbers in 714, 213, 415, 602 & 215 Started in 1978 and is still going today
It started in Orange County by "The Link's" Joe Zygot. Later
spreading throuout Los Angeles. So many that there where three communities
that where not local to one. Zygot had spread to Philadelphia, Phoenix,
& the San Francisco area.
- Recorded Off The Phone -
714-839-3000 | 714-839-3030 | 714-894-9000
Zzzzzz Run by Bob Bilkiss Located in Culver City 837-5566, 836-5556, 836-5566 It began in February 1970
Originally 837-5566 on a Step-By-Step exchange. When the call volume rose to
about 800 calls a day the phone folks moved it to a crossbar line which could
better handle large call volumes, and that is when the 836-5566 number came in. "The Last Listing In The Los Angeles Telephone
Directory"One of The Oldest Of The Phone Recording lines first
running on a Code-A-Phone 700. It first started out at his parents house and
then it moved into his apartment in a very large apartment complex in Palms.
Started I guess on or just before 1968. One of the original "Z"
8-track machines is still sitting in a garage in a box collecting dust. All
of the master tapes still exist. They are on tapes with final recordings and
are mixed up with original takes. If there are any old-timers that remember
a recording that went"This moment of softness, has been brought
to you by Z. ZZ. ZZZ."outro, which had some "Music
Box" type music behind it. Anyone know what that music was from?
Here's a clue--it was the intro music (which then continued in the
background after the main melody of the piece started) arranged in a
particular manner for a specific rendition of a very well known song. As
such, it was not the*melody*line of the song
itself. It can be heard Muzak music systems and such occasionally. It is a
song the melody of which, and the words to which, most adults in the U.S. would know.
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