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Mute ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Character Was an ’80s Pop Star

The Shirts, Annie Golden, Fleet Foxes

Looks like even poor old Norma Romano once had her fair share of shoulder pads. The Orange Is the New Black character who communicates solely through her timid facial expressions was the singer of an ’80s band called the Shirts. Well, actress Annie Golden was, and for proof, here’s the video for their most popular song, 1984’s “Hang Up the Phone.” Just a warning: it looks like someone swallowed then threw up an entire performance of Bye Bye Birdie from the Reagan years.

Jim DeRogatis at WBEZ reports the Shirts were signed in 1978 by Nick Mobbs (who also inked a deal with legendary post-punks Wire) and that their earlier stuff was way grittier than this attempt at a pop anthem. But who wouldn’t forego mid-’70s punk for the actual real-life version of Robin Sparkle’s “Let’s Go to the Mall”?

This is not the first time we’ve discovered a connection between OITNB and music. In the show’s writers recently sneaked in a jab at Fleet Foxes, and as Rolling Stone reports, they burned the Smiths as well, calling Morrissey’s most famous tunes “pussy music.” Still, Flaca’s favorite song is “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” She says it feels like being in love when she listens to the Smiths classic while taking a bath in chocolate pudding. We’d have to agree.