Monday, April 21, 2008

For A Good Time Call...

'867-5309 (Jenny)' was a smash hit in early '82 for Tommy Tutone. And if you're like me you probably thought at the time that Tommy Tutone was a guy not a group. But a group they were and '867-5309 (Jenny)' was their one and only big hit reaching #4 at home in the U.S. and #22 in Australia.

Even 20 years later '867-5309 (Jenny)' caused quite a stir but at the Brown University phone exchange rather than the charts. 867 just happened to be their new campus prefix, and when listeners of the Tommy Tutone hit decided to call the number, in a vain effort to speak to Jenny, the calls were directed to two students on campus. The chaos caused on phone exchanges at the time the song was a hit was far greater, so much so that many people in various parts of the U.S. who just happened to have that number, were forced to change their number due to the sheer volume of crank calls.

Tommy Tutone had just the right guitar driven pop sound for the time. Think Survivor, Rick Springfield, J. Geils Band, Greg Kihn Band. They formed in 1978 but after dialing the right number to reach the top 10 in 1982, Tommy Tutone hung up on chart success and disbanded for a time post 1984. They've reformed since with original vocalist Tommy Heath carrying on with a 1994 album release 'Nervous Love' and a hectic touring schedule.

The band have a really cool website worth checking out at:

Check out the YouTube video clip for the song here:

In keeping with the theme of phone numbers, British sextet City Boy scored a major hit in 1978 with '' (U.K. #8, U.S. #27 and Oz #11). The vocals on the track were shared between regular lead vocalist Lol Mason (who handled the high pitch bits in the chorus) and drummer Roger Kent (who sang the verses). The band's line-up was also featured guitarist Mike Slamer, keyboardist Max Thomas, percussionist Steve Broughton and bassist Chris Dunn. City Boy's members had known each other since high school and had kept in touch and played music together throught the late 60s early 70s. In 1973 they took the name City Boy and three years later released the album 'Mark I'. '' came from their 1978 release 'Book Early'. It represented the high point in City Boy's career, and despite a move to the U.S. shortly after to further their success, the band folded around 1982.

Dial up this link to have a look at the promo clip for '':

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