|Single by Tommy Tutone|
|from the album Tommy Tutone 2|
|B-side||"Not Say Goodbye"|
|Released||November 16, 1981|
|Tommy Tutone singles chronology|
"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 #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in 1982 (see 1982 in music).
"There was no Jenny," songwriter Alex Call told a Tampa, Florida, 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 it was the number of a girl he knew. As a joke, he wrote it on a bathroom wall in a motel where they were staying. "We laughed about it for years," he said.
Lead guitarist Jim Keller, interviewed by People in 1982, tells a different story. "Jenny is a regular girl, not a hooker. Friends of mine wrote her name and number on a men's room wall at a bar. I called her on a dare, and we dated for a while. I haven't talked with her since the song became a hit, but I hear she thinks I'm a real jerk for writing it."
Advertisements for Benjamin Franklin Plumbing use a version called "867-5309/Benny".
Popularity and litigation 
The song, released in late 1981, initially gained west-coast popularity in January 1982; many who had the number soon abandoned it due to unwanted calls.
"When we'd first get calls at 2 or 3 in the morning, my husband would answer the phone. He can't hear too well. They'd ask for Jenny and he'd say 'Jimmy doesn't live here any more.'... Tommy Tutone was the one who had the record. I'd like to get hold of his neck and choke him."—Mrs. Lorene Burns, random Alabama householder formerly at +1-205-867-5309, disconnected in 1982.
Asking telephone companies to trace the calls was of no use, as Charles and Maurine Shambarger (then in West Akron, Ohio at +1-216-867-5309) learned when Ohio Bell explained “We don’t know what to make of this. The calls are coming from all over the place.” A little over a month later, they disconnected the number and the phone became silent.
In some cases, the number was picked up by commercial businesses or acquired for use in radio promotions.
- In 1982, WLS radio obtained the number from a Chicago woman, receiving 22,000 calls in four days.
- In 2003, Southwest Junior High School had to change the school phone number due to repetitive calls asking for Jenny in area code 704.
- Brown University, 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 Massachusetts (area code 617). Gem trademarked the number in 2005.
- A February 2004 auction for the number in a New York City area code was shut down by eBay after objections from Verizon; bidding had reached $80000.
- In 2004, Weehawken, New Jersey resident Spencer Potter picked up the number for free after discovering to his surprise that it was available in the 201 area code, hoping it would improve his DJ business. Unable to handle the overwhelming volume of calls, he sought to sell the number on eBay in February 2009. Although bids reached $1 million, his inability to confirm the identity of the bidders led him to sell it privately to Retro Fitness, a gym franchise with a location in Secaucus, New Jersey that felt the 1980s origin of the number tied in perfectly with their business's retro theme.
- In 2006, Benjamin Franklin Franchising, a large national plumbing franchise, 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 England. Currently (as of July 1, 2011), +1-866-867-5309 is back in the hands of Benjamin Franklin Franchising and is considered a valid method of reaching BFF customer support.
- In 2009, nutrition firm Natrient LLC leased +1-800-867-5309 from 5309 Partners Ltd for $25 million as part of a radio ad campaign.
- 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. Whereas telephone numbers are the legal property of the wireline carrier, the logic behind this company and several others was that Vonage as a VOIP provider did not own the numbers, making them open for sale, with eBay being the typical medium.
A study on the security of numerical passwords in 2012 revealed that 8675309 is the fourth most common 7-digit password, speculating that it is easy to remember because of the popularity of this song, despite being otherwise fairly random (as opposed to the #1 most common 7-digit password: 1234567). On Microsoft's WebTV (in standby mode) 8675309 is a hidden code which causes the unit to call Microsoft for firmware updates. 8675309 is prime.
An October 2011 WBTV local newscast reported that a majority of retail loyalty programs which use the client's local telephone number alone as an identifier showed 867-5309 as registered and eligible for point-of-sale discounts.
In 2011, the Mayo Clinic released a public service announcement "Jenny please watch your numbers, Blood pressure, lipids and BMI", as an online music video which used portions of the 1982 original, including the number.
The song was made available to download on April 19, 2011 for play in Rock Band 3 Basic, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.
Springsteen controversy 
Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen's popular single "Radio Nowhere" features a set of guitar riffs at the beginning that many fans considered particularly similar to "867-5309/Jenny", although the lyrics and the tone of the two songs are quite different. Heath said in response, tongue-in-cheek, "the kids do need braces so maybe I will [sue Springsteen for musical plagiarism]". Heath clarified later on that he had no actual intention whatsoever of taking action and that he felt "really honored at a similarity, if any".
Chart performance 
|US Billboard Top Tracks||1|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||2|
|US Billboard Hot 100||4|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||32|
See also 
- Allmusic Review
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), p. 638.
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Jenny 867-5309.
- LaMarca, Stephen. "Jenny 867-5309 won't lead to Jenny". The Hudson Reporter. July 31, 2011. page 3
- "BOB Stock back". Nl.newsbank.com. 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- "Tommy Tutone Jenny 867-5309 Live on WGN Morning News". Youtube.com. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- Bricker, Rebecca (1982-05-31). Tommy Tutone's Got Your Number—if It's 867-5309—as America Dials Up a Musical Party Line. People magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- "867-5309 is not Jenny". Lakeland (Florida) Ledger. May 16, 1982. p. 2A.
- Price, Mark J. (April 29, 2012). "Local history: There is no Jenny at 867-5309". Akron Beacon-Journal, Ohio. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- http://www.gemplumbing.com/contact.html Gem Plumbing Inc. - Plumbing Contractor, Lincoln, Rhode Island.
- "1-800-catchy-number- makes-a-lot-of-money". Baltimore Sun. 2004-03-09. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- Sacha Pfeiffer (May 19, 2007). "Jenny, they got your number; now 2 firms fighting over it". The Boston Globe. (paywall).
- "Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing". Benjaminfranklinparma.com. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- Negus, Beth (2009-03-17). Nutrition Firm Leases 800-867-5309; Jenny Probably Not Included. Chief Marketer. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- "867-5309 for sale | Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota". WTSP.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- CNN.com: '867-5309' number for sale on eBay, February 2, 2009.
- Duke, Alan. "'867-5309' bids up to $365,000". CNN. February 3, 2009
- PIN analysis by DataGenetics , September 20, 2012.
- "Advanced DishPlayer Codes". Satelliteone.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- O'Boyle, Maureen (October 2012). "Stretching Your Dollar: Jenny's number saves money". WBTV Charlotte, North Carolina. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- "'Know Your Numbers': Mayo Clinic Parodies '867-5309/Jenny' Song To Promote Heart Health". Huffington Post. 2011-10-24. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- Horowitz, Carl F. "Sue Me, Sue You: Musical 'Plagiarism' in court". National Legal and Policy Center. Archived from the original on 24 May 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008.