I have a transcription LP of a Ralph Emery radio show from 1971, with Glen Campbell as the featured guest, in which Emery announced the song in the following playful manner:
Emery: The Ralph Emery Show rolls along. Here’s Tom T. Hall, and uh, hey, I think you’re gonna — this is a brand-new song.
Emery: And uh, I said to Tom, I said, you know, people know you write about your personal experiences, but this is not going to make you look too good. He said – oh, I took a poetic license here [Campbell laughs], and wrote about other people.
“Tulsa Telephone Book“
Tom T. Hall (1971)
“Tulsa Telephone Book” was never issued as a 45 – the track was included on Hall’s new album at the time, In Search of a Song. Thus, Ralph Emery was spinning an LP track on this particular radio broadcast.
As with Ronnie Milsap‘s similar musical tale of woe, “Mr. Mailman,” the storyline’s comedic punch is tied directly to one’s limited means — back in the Analog Age of the early 1970s (i.e., pre-cell phone/social media) — to track someone down with minimal identifying information (e.g., given name only)
LP Musicians Credits
Bob Moore – Bass
Buddy Harmon – Drums
Harold Bradley – Banjo & Guitar
Jerry Kennedy – Guitar, Dobro & Sitar
Chip Young – Guitar
Ray Edenton – Guitar
Hargus ‘Pig‘ Robbins – Piano & Organ
Pete Drake – Steel Guitar & Slide Dobro
George Tidwell – Trumpet
Charlie McCoy – Vibraphone & Harmonica
Engineer – Tom Sparkman
Mastered By – Gilbert Kong
Producer – Jerry Kennedy
It is entirely possible that Ralph Emery was spinning “Tulsa Telephone Book” from a 4-song EP of “special radio cuts” that also included “The Little Lady Preacher“; “L.A. Blues” & “Ramona’s Revenge.”
LINK to Tom T. Hall on Zero to 180