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CVS to Update 'Haunting' On-Hold Jingle After Man Complains

Dr. Steven Schlozman just couldn't take it anymore
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 9, 2019 8:00 AM CST
He Hated CVS' On-Hold Music. CVS Took Notice
In this Aug. 7, 2018, file photo, a CVS store is seen in Jackson, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

A Massachusetts doctor who pleaded with CVS to change its on-hold jingle is getting his wish, per the AP. The Boston Globe reports a spokeswoman for the pharmacy chain said Friday the company is in the process of updating its voice-response phone system, including the on-hold music that Dr. Steven Schlozman so hated. The child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital penned a tongue-in-cheek letter to WBUR-FM last year, with the Globe noting he was on the "brink of a possible breakdown," claiming the music haunted him "day and night." "Please. Do the right thing," he wrote. "I hear it in my sleep. I hear it when I go running. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night humming that melody. ... It's not healthy. I know. I'm a doctor."

Schlozman estimates he's heard the song at least three times a day for years on end. The letter sparked a nationwide debate, with some people praising the music and others sharing Schlozman's sentiments. Even the Wall Street Journal got into the action last year, calling the tune—said to have been penned by a now-deceased Harvard-educated musician named James Romeo—"divisive." CVS spokeswoman Amy Lanctot didn't clarify whether the company is replacing the tune or improving sound quality. She says the new system should be complete later this year. Schlozman says he thinks it's great CVS is making the change. Even Romeo's widow, who has said she enjoys hearing the song because it reminds her of her late husband, concedes to the Journal, "I think I'd get tired of it if I had to listen to it all day long."

(More CVS stories.)

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