CLOSE
Original image
ThinkStock

Songs About Obsolete Technology

Original image
ThinkStock

Nothing makes a song feel nostalgic like an out-of-date technological reference. Sometimes, it's charming, like in Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," and sometimes it's downright silly like in Gym Class Heroes' "New Friend Request," about the prevalence of Myspace. Here, six songs that harken back to a simpler time.

Pagers

"Throw my pager out the window! Tell MCI to cut the phone poles," sang Destiny's Child in their famous song "Bug-a-boo." Besides doctors, do you know anyone with a beeper anymore?

Myspace

In the Gym Class Heroes song, "New Friend Request," lead singer Travis McCoy belts out lines about when "my man Tom introduced us" and seeing a girl's face in the "top eight." Clearly, this was from a time of pre-Facebook popularity.

Star 69

It's almost hard to imagine a world when we didn't all have caller ID, but dialing *69 allowed us to learn who had called when we needed to know. In this REM song, Michael Stipe croons, "I know you called. I know you hung up my line, star 69."

Telegrams

This song by the Five Americans harkens back to a time when people sent messages via Western Union.

Answering Machine

This 1984 song by the Replacements ponders the role of the answering machine. (Writer's note: I cannot talk about answering machines without sharing my favorite answering machine message ever, courtesy of George Costanza.)

kodachrome

"It gives those nice bright colors," Paul Simon sang in his song about memory. He compared it to Kodachrome, Kodak’s film.

Original image
Getty Images
Happy Birthday, Alex Trebek!
Original image
Getty Images

Today, everyone's favorite game show host turns 76 years old. Let's celebrate!

ON SESAME STREET

In 2006, Trebek played “Special of the Day” with Telly.

ON CARD SHARKS

In 1980, the tables were turned, and Trebek found himself the contestant on this episode of Card Sharks. The “tell me about yourself” portion of the program doesn’t go so smoothly, but he’s pretty good at the game itself.

THROWING PEOPLE IN THE POOL

In this sketch for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Trebek throws a waiter in a pool. The takeaway is clear: Don’t phrase things in the form of a question when you’re talking to the Jeopardy! host.

TREBEK ON NASA

And how the agency’s work with other companies helps all of us, not just astronauts.

HOSTING WHEEL OF FORTUNE

Happy April Fool's Day 1997! (Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy that night.)

ALEX, AUTOTUNED

MC TREBEK IN THE HIZZOUSE

That was the actual name of the category.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WEIRDER...

Behold “Sexiest Potpourri Ever.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

You didn’t think we’d leave without posting one of these, did you?

Original image
Getty Images
Covers of "Me and Bobby McGee"
Original image
Getty Images

On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. The singer-songwriter was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul." Here, we remember Joplin with covers of her only number-one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee." Joplin's version of the song, originally written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, topped the charts after her death, making the song the second posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Johnny Cash

Pink

Willie Nelson

Dolly Parton

James Last

Jerry Lee Lewis

SECTIONS

arrow
BIG QUESTIONS
More from mental floss studios