Pennsylvania 6-5000 – Glenn Miller

September 9, 2021

Today’s song of the day is the swing standard “Pennsylvania 6-5000” by Glenn Miller.

Fun Facts

  • The song’s name comes from the phone number for the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.
  • Instead of area codes, old phone numbers contained a prefix, in this case, “PE” for 73. Callers said “Pennsylvania” to be clear to operators that they wanted to be connected to the PE area code around New York’s Penn Station.
  • Glenn Miller and many other swing artists performed at the hotel’s popular Café Rouge in the 1930s and 40s.
  • The once ritzy nightclub is now an indoor basketball court called Terminal 23.
  • To this day, customers calling the hotel will hear “Pennsylvania 6-5000” before being connected.
  • Lyricist Carl Sigman wrote more lyrics for the song, but Miller opted to record it with the only lyrics being “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”
  • It remained in Billboard’s Top 5 songs for 12 weeks in 1940.
  • The 1985 horror/comedy Transylvania 6-5000 featuring Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, and Seinfeld‘s Michael Richards parodies the song, including an updated version for the end credits.
  • In Weird Al Yankovic’s “The Plumbing Song,” the plumber’s phone number is Roto-Rooter 6-5000.
  • The Andrews Sisters later recorded a version with full lyrics.

Lyrics

(Musixmatch)

Numbers I’ve got by the dozen

Everyone’s uncle and cousin

But I can’t live without buzzin’

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

I’ve got a sweety I know there

Someone who sets me aglow there

Gives me the sweetest “hello there”

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

We don’t say “how are you”

And very seldom ask “what’s new?”

Instead we start and end each call with

“Baby confidentially I love you”

Maybe it sounds a bit funny

When I’m away from my honey

Here’s what I do with my money

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

Numbers I’ve got by the dozen

Everyone’s uncle and cousin

But I can’t live without buzzin’

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

I’ve got a sweety I know there

Someone who sets me aglow there

Gives me the sweetest “hello there”

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

We don’t say “how are you”

And very seldom ask “what’s new?”

Instead we start and end each call with

“Baby confidentially I love you”

Maybe it sounds a bit funny

When I’m away from my honey

Here’s what I do with my money

Pennsylvania Six, Five Thousand

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