TECH
11/30/2011 04:28 pm ET | Updated Nov 30, 2011

Western Union Revives Singing Telegram In Digital Form

Telegraph pioneer turned money transfer giant Western Union is reviving a service they cut in the 1970s by again offering singing telegrams, The New York Times reports.

But don't expect a tuxedo-clad crooner at your door anytime soon, as the company's given the retro communication form a full digital upgrade.

On Thursday, Western Union will launch a new website where customers can record and send their own karaoke-style audio messages to family and friends via email.

Folks who can't hold a tune can also select a song from artists who've partnered with the company, including Snoop Dogg, Timbaland and K'Naan.

"We're bringing back something from our history," Diane Scott, chief marketing officer and president of Western Union Ventures told ABC News. "We're bringing something old and making something retro almost new. It's sending a piece of who you are [and] it transcends all cultures."

In an effort to get the service off the ground, Western Union will offer the electronic telegrams free of charge through the end of 2011. As for future charges, Scott told ABC News they're still working out the cost details for 2012.

Western Union first launched the original singing telegram in 1933. They disbanded the service in 1976 then revived it on a limited basis in 1980 before completely phasing out the offering in 2006.

CONVERSATIONS