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Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Whose voice is on the "please hang up and try again" phone message?

Anybody who's ever misdialed a phone number knows exactly whom we're talking about. She's the woman who pleasantly lets us know that our call cannot be completed as dialed. But who the heck is she? After a rather exhaustive hunt, we finally tracked down the woman behind the voice, the late Jane Barbe.

It's estimated that in the 1960s, Jane Barbe's friendly voice was heard by as many as 22 million confused callers a day. Too bad she wasn't paid on a per-call basis, eh? Though most famous for her reminders to "hang up and try again," Ms. Barbe was also a professional singer and lent her voice to many commercial jingles over the years.

The drama major and Florida native took her "anonymous fame" in stride, though we imagine it must have been tempting to abuse her vocal powers. After all, who wouldn't like to tell telemarketers to buzz off in her perfectly polite tone? For those longing to listen to the Telephone Lady's melodic announcements, this site offers many of her "greatest hits."

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