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"867‒5309/Jenny" is a song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone that was released on the album Tommy Tutone 2, on the Columbia Records label. It peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in 1982 (see 1982 in music). Co-writer Call came up with both "Jenny" and the telephone number and completed the song with Keller.

The song caused a fad of people dialing 867‒5309 (which was then a valid phone number in dozens of North American area codes) and asking for "Jenny".

Tommy Tutone is primarily remembered for this song.

Creation

"There was no Jenny," songwriter Alex Call told a Tampa, Fla., columnist in June 2009. "The number? It came to me out of the ether." However, on March 28, 2008, Tommy Tutone lead singer Tommy Heath stated on the WGN Morning News that the number was real and was left on a bathroom wall in a motel as a joke. "We laughed about it for years," he said.

Call details the "Jenny" story in his forthcoming book, For A Good Time Call: 867‒5309: I Wrote The Song That Saved My Ass. Call expects to finish writing the book by late August 2009.

Charts

Chart (1982) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 4
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1


Covers

Jenny has been covered by a number of artists, including Everclear, Less Than Jake, Bracket, and The Goo Goo Dolls.

In 2003, singer-songwriter Mark Weigle included the song on his album Different but the Same. Weigle, changed the title to "867‒5309 Jimmy". In the album's liner notes, Weigle explained how the song's dynamics changed, when altering the subject's gender from female to male (since it would be unlikely that "Jenny" had written her own number on the bathroom wall, while "Jimmy", on the other hand, most likely had done so).

This song was featured in the video game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore 2.

In popular culture

  • In a project he called Jenny, are you there?, Dan Stecz, a New Jerseymarker man, called all the 867‒5309s in every area code within North America and found that nearly all the numbers were not in service. A handful of the numbers did refer to Jenny, however, and some even played bits of the song on their answering machine greeting.


  • In March 2008, several residents in Wilmington, Delawaremarker reported receiving telemarketing calls during the early morning hours, where the caller had spoofed its Caller ID to "867‒5309."


  • 8675309 is a prime number.


  • In an episode of Hannah Montana, Jackson falls in love with a cashier from his college campus. Reading her "name" off a receipt he finds out she is cashier 88675309.






  • In the computer game Deus Ex it is one of the codes to be entered to progress.


Litigation and publicity

Brown Universitymarker, which in 2002 owned the number in the 401 Area Code, transferred the number to Gem Plumbing & Heating, a local business in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Gem began using the number in advertising campaigns both in Rhode Island and in eastern Massachusettsmarker (area code 617). Gem trademarked the number in 2005.

In 2006, Benjamin Franklin Franchising LLC, a large national plumbing firm, began using a toll-free version of the number (+1‒866‒867‒5309). In 2007, Gem brought suit against Clockwork Home Services, the parent company of Benjamin Franklin Franchising, alleging a violation of its trademark. Clockwork contended that Gem's trademark was invalid. Effective in May 2007, Clockwork was ordered by a court to stop using the number in New Englandmarker.

The number in several area codes has been listed on eBay for sale.

In July 2009, a Pennsylvania company had the number assigned to a Vonage phone line in the name of a small business, and then listed the entire business for sale on eBay, possibly allowing them to avoid the general rule amongst wireline telephone companies that numbers are the property of the carrier and may not be sold—which is why earlier attempts failed.

See also



References


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