867-5309/Jenny

From Academic Kids

"867-5309/Jenny" is the name of a 1981 song written and performed by Tommy Tutone (see 1981 in music).

The lyrics imply that 867-5309 was the real phone number of a girl named Jenny, acquired from a bathroom wall. The song caused a fad of people dialing 867-5309 (then a valid phone number in dozens of area codes) and asking for Jenny.

Throughout the song, the singer just keeps thinking about this mysterious Jenny and how happy she makes him. The song says he tried to call her before, but lost his nerve.

The song was released on the album Tutone 2, on the Columbia Records label. It has been covered by a number of artists including Less Than Jake.

Various claims have been made about the number, including:

  • +1-415-867-5309 had been a real number of a friend of someone in the band, promptly disconnected after the song's release
  • subscribers with same or similar numbers in other area codes also ordered them disconnected after receiving many calls
  • some radio stations at the time were applying to obtain lines with +1-areacode-867-5309 numbers for promotional purposes
  • the band or label changed their story as to the number's origins, eventually claiming it to be a random number
  • the calls to 1-areacode-867-5309 were still arriving in quantity as late as the end of the 1990's
  • typing 8675309 on early Microsoft WebTV units (such as the original Echostar DishPlayer) when in off/standby mode would cause them to call home to download MSN TV software
  • a more recent attempt to auction the number +1-212-867-5309 on eBay received bids in the $200,000 range before the auction listing was pulled at the request of Verizon
  • 8675309 is a prime number.
Contents

867-5309 in popular culture

  • In an episode of Family Guy, when Stewie is trying to reach his mother, the first number he dials is 867-5309. He then says, "Oh, wait, that's not it. Damn you, Tommy Tutone!"
  • In the MMORPG Everquest, players can obtain an item named "Jenniy's Two-tone Cuirass" from the zone boss Grieg Veneficus. This item is a breastplate, and grants the wearer 8 strength, 6 dexterity, 7 stamina, 5 charisma, 30 wisdom, and 9 intelligence, among other benefits.
  • In 2004, the song was featured in a TV commercial for Cingular Wireless, which promoted the company's number portability service. Many telephone carriers have refused to assign this number since the advent of this song but it is still valid in some areas.
  • On the American show Hit Me Baby One More Time, Tommy Tutone reunited for one night and sang the song for a chance to win money for charity.

Charts

Year Single Chart Peak
1982 "867-5309/Jenny" Mainstream Rock 1 2
1982 "867-5309/Jenny" Pop Singles 4 17

See also

External links

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