Crossbar Tandem, or XBT, was one of several models of Western Electric electromechanical switching system. When you dialed a long distance call, if the location you were calling from didn’t have a direct connection to the place you were calling to, your call would be routed through one or more tandem switches until it reached the destination. The different types of switching equipment made their own particular noises, and Crossbar Tandem made a very distinctive sound.
Back in 1978, when I first heard the Disco song “Got to Be Real”, it reminded me of Crossbar Tandem. At the time, there were still plenty of XBTs in service, but now of course, they’re long gone. Cheryl Lynn’s song however, continues to endure, and my DJ still plays it every once in a while on Saturday nights. With that inspiration, I finally got around to doing a remix of the two. It features the voice of Evan Doorbell: