4. There is a Famous Song About Hotel Pennsylvania’s Phone Number

Glen Miller holding a trombone
Glen Miller, Image via Wikipedia

Hotel Pennsylvania’s phone number was allegedly the oldest continuing phone number in New York City. That number was Pennsylvania 6-5000. Even after names and letter codes became obsolete, the number maintained the numerical version of PE 6-500. This number has been immortalized in a song by The Glenn Miller Orchestra. The orchestra, and other famous acts of the time such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie, often played at the hotel’s Café Rouge.

“Pennsylvania 6-5000” became more than just a number in 1940 when a song of the same name was released by RCA Victor. The music was written by Jerry Gray with lyrics by Carl Sigman and it was performed by Glen Miller and his band. The song, which is a swinging big band tune, became a hit and advertised the band’s performances at the hotel. Later, the song was used as background music for the hotel’s phone answering machine for many years.