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Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 (Jenny) - Lyrics Meaning



It was 1981 when Alex Call and Jim Keller, then lead guitarist of Tommy Tutone, wrote the song that set into motion one of the biggest dialing frenzies ever. When the song became a hit in 1982, people everywhere were dialing 867-5309 and asking for Jenny. That craze helped to rocket the hit to #1 on the Billboard Top Tracks that year.

Songwriter Call came up with the concept of a song about Jenny and her phone number while sitting under a plum tree one day. Contrary to popular belief, "There was no Jenny," he said, "And I don't know where the number came from. I was just trying to write a 4-chord rock song and it just kind of came out." While sitting there, his friend Keller stopped by. When he heard the song he told Call that it sounded like a girl's number on a bathroom wall. The two laughed about it, but then Call realized that he was right - that was exactly what it was. From there, the two of them started writing and the verses were complete in about twenty minutes.

Jenny I've got your number

I need to make you mine

Jenny don't change your number

Eight six seven five three oh nine

The band maintained for years that there really was a Jenny out there - and that she operated a recording studio. To add a bit more spice, they also said the song was inspired by a girl that lead singer Tommy Heath met at a nightclub and that 867-5309 was her parents' phone number. Neither story was true, but was good fodder for the media.




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