Friday, August 2, 2013

Song #10 On My MP3 Player - 867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone

Tommy Tutone had a top ten hit in 1982 with '867-5309/Jenny', which was one of two Top 40 hits for the California band. Tommy Tutone is the name of the band and not the name of the lead singer. Tommy Heath is the lead singer and the original name of the band was Tommy and The Tu-Tones.

The band and the songwriters have provided some conflicting stories about the history of '867-5309/Jenny'. Tommy Heath said the number belonged to a girl he knew, but Heath did not write the song. Alex Call and Jim Keller were the writers, but both men offer different histories. Call said the song was a number they created, but Keller said it was a number of a girl he knew at the time. There were some legal issues with the band and writers using an actual phone number in the song, so perhaps the band and writers were trying to find ways of avoid legal troubles. Who knows. Heath, Call, and Keller all agree that Jenny is fictional.

Although Jenny was not real, the phone number was real. There are stories of people in various U.S. area codes with the number 867-5309 getting bombarded with calls asking for Jenny. One of those numbers apparently belonged to the daughter of the police chief for Buffalo, New York. My wife grew up in Pennsylvania and said 867 was a number option in State College.

'867-5309/Jenny' is on my MP3 player because I grew up in the 80's and this is one of my favorite Top 40 songs from the decade. I think this is a fun song and '867-5309/Jenny' doesn't get old despite the fact that it gets played to death during 80's lunch time radio programming. This is also a fun song to play on the acoustic guitar when you are with a bunch of friends enjoying some beers. Enjoy.

TonyDoug Wright is the Lost Soul of Rock and Roll and he's ready for the weekend.

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