Calling Hall and Oates

Meera Pal,

WASHINGTON – Sometimes all we need is a little Hall and Oates in our day.

And thanks to a novice computer coder from San Francisco, it is now possible to take a musical break with an emergency Hall and Oates Hotline.

Fans of Hall and Oates can call 1-719-26-OATES, where they will be prompted by an automated female voice that says “Welcome to the Callin’ Oates: Your Emergency Hall and Oates Hotline.”

The voice than prompts the caller to press options 1 through 4 to hear classic Hall and Oates songs, including “Man Eater” and “Rich Girl.”

The app is the brainchild of Michael Selvidge who works in corporate communications for Twilio, a cloud-based communications company in the city by the bay.

As he explains it, Twilio has an initiation process for all new employees.

“Everyone has to make an app and this is the app that I wanted to make,” he says. “I’ve really always loved Hall and Oates. It is definitely something that is humorous but affectionate and not done in an ironic way.”

Selvidge created Callin’ Oates with help from a friend over the weekend. The site went viral Tuesday, after he tweeted the link to several high profile Twitter users.

By Wednesday afternoon, the site had received more than 160,000 calls, Selvidge says.

“I mean in my wildest dreams, I definitely knew that I thought it was cool,” he says.

“But I didn’t realize that everyone else would think it was as cool and appreciate it as much as they did.”

Selvidge says he already heard from Hall and Oates fans asking for more songs.

“It reminds you how many favorite songs of Hall and Oates people have,” he says.

He doesn’t have any plans to expand at the moment — he doesn’t want to risk taking the app offline and hearing from thousands of angry Hall and Oates fans.

Also, he hasn’t heard from Hall and Oates just yet.

For those who prefer not to call 1-719-26-OATES, there is a website where you can make the same four choices of songs.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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