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"Ricki, Don't Lose that Number" by Steely Dan: Song of the Day for March 10

Our Song of the Day, "Ricki, Don't Lose that Number" never would have existed if it hadn't been for Alexander Graham Bell.

No, he didn't write it. He didn't sing it. I don't know if he had any musical talent, but Bell did have the curiosity and scientific knowledge to invent the telephone. He made the first phone call on March 10th, 1876 with the famous phrase, "Watson, come here I want to see you."

Graham is considered the father of the telephone because he received the first design patent. He might not have received all the glory if not for an early bird lawyer. His patent was the 5th filed that day. Rival Elisha Grace's phone patent was the 39th. Some people think somebody at the Patent Office pulled a fast one for Graham, but the courts backed up his claim.

The phone phone wasn't an immediate success. Western Union Telegraph Company declined an offer to buy Bell's patent for $100,000. It was the 19th century equivalent of Blockbuster, saying no to Netflix.

The group Steely Dan recorded "Ricki, Don't Lose that Number." It became their biggest hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1974.

It is a wishful love song. Band member Donald Fagan said he gave his phone number to Ricki duCornett at a party when he was a student at Bard College. It was the modern day equivalent of "Watson, come here, I want to see you." But she was the wife of one of Fagen's professors. She never did call him. But he did get a hit out of it.