"Mr. Telephone Man"
is a 1984 song by R&B/pop group, New Edition
New Edition is an R&B group formed in Boston in 1978. The group reached its height of popularity during the 1980s. They were the progenitors of the boy band movement of the 1980s and 1990s and led the way for groups like New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync...
, and the second single from their eponymous second album, New Edition
New Edition is the second studio album released by American R&B quintet New Edition on July 6, 1984 in North America. It was their first album on MCA Records. It was also their first album without Maurice Starr who would depart from the group during the making of the album after the group accused...
"Mr. Telephone Man" included lead vocals from Ralph Tresvant
Ralph Tresvant , aka Rizz, is an American tenor singer, best known as one of the lead singers in New Edition.-New Edition:Tresvant sang lead on many of the New Edition lead singles including "Candy Girl", "Cool It Now" and "If It Isn't Love"...
, Ricky Bell
Ricky Bell, nicknamed "Slick" is an American R&B singer best known as one of the founding members of New Edition and the lead singer of Bell Biv DeVoe...
and Bobby Brown
Robert Barisford "Bobby" Brown is an American R&B singer-songwriter, occasional rapper, and dancer. After success in pop group New Edition, Brown began his solo career in 1987 and had a string of Top 10 Billboard hits, culminating in a Grammy Award. He was a pioneer of New Jack Swing music, a...
with a rap by Michael Bivins
Michael Lamont Bivins, a.k.a. Biv , is the founder and member of the R&B group New Edition and the hip hop group Bell Biv DeVoe...
and was written for the group by smooth R&B singer-songwriter Ray Parker, Jr.
Ray Erskine Parker, Jr. , is an American guitarist, songwriter, producer and recording artist. Parker is known for writing and performing the theme song to the motion picture Ghostbusters, for his solo hits, and performing with his band Raydio as well as the late Barry White.-Early life and...
The song discusses how the narrator tries reaching for his girlfriend by phone but no one answers or "I get a click every time" and tries in vain to ask the telephone operator to help him out "Please operator, see what you can do, I dialed the right number, but I still couldn't get through, could you check the line one more time if you can, I'm pretty sure her phone won't be answered by no man!" The single reached number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart,. and was the group's third number-one single on the R&B charts. Mixes included the instrumental and the "Extended Version".
Brown returned to perform this song with the group in a reunion of the original group on the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards
An MTV Video Music Award , is an award presented by the cable channel MTV to honor the best in music videos...
and again rejoining the group at the BET 25th anniversary in 2005.
The song was covered by the girl group Dream for their 2001 debut album, It Was All a Dream
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100
|U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles
|U.K. Singles Chart