If you grew up in the 80s, you know exactly what this post is about.
867-5309/Jenny” was a song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone. Released in 1981, it did reach #1 on the US billboard charts in 1982, I think due to it’s very catchy chorus.
This song is about a guy who gets Jenny’s number off the bathroom wall. He can’t work up the courage to call her, but thinks he can have her if he ever does. Was the number and Jenny real?
Well, songwriter Alex Call came up with it while sitting under a plum tree. He said “Despite all the mythology to the contrary, I actually just came up with the ‘Jenny’ and the telephone number, and the music just sitting in my backyard. There was no Jenny”
I think it’s fair to say the number 867-5309 has reached a cult status. There are so many stories of people prank calling that number (as it is a valid number is many US states), the number has been used by many famous people and it has appeared in many other facets of life.
* Lets go a bit further into some trivia around this song:
* Tommy Tutone was actually the name of the band, not a singer
* A guy in New York tried to sell his 212-867-5309 number on eBay
* 867-5309 grosses more royalties today than it did when the song was climbing the charts in 1982
* Arnold Schwarzenegger put it on his Workout with Arnold
* Family Guy referenced the song
* Keith Urban sings 867-5309 at his live shows.
* In 1999, Brown University put in a campus exchange of “867.” The number 867-5309 went to 2 freshman girls, who got about 5 prank calls a day.
* 867-5309 has been referenced in several video game Easter eggs, including Duke Nukem, Everquest, and Deus Ex.
* 8675309 is a prime number. The chances of choosing a random 7-digit (telephone) number and finding that it is prime is about 13 out of 200 (about 6.5%).
Many women have used the fictional Jenny’s telephone digits to brush off unwanted male attention. More than one guy has gotten a girl’s phone number, only to discover it is 867-5309 🙂 . I would love to see how many times this has occurred.
Finally, here’s the song played live:
Check out this site for an interview with the girl in the Jenny music video. Her name was Karen Morton, who sadly passed away on 2/11/14.
How much of that trivia did you know? Do you have any more that I can add to the above list? Leave a comment below