Tommy Tutone

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Tommy Tutone
Origin California, U.S.A.
Genres Rock, Power pop
Years active 1978 – present
Labels Columbia/CBS Records
Spectra Records
Associated acts Mona Gnader
Members Tommy Heath
Jimmy James
Greg Georgeson
Andy Gauthier
Past members John Cowsill
Terry Nails
Jon Lyons
Mickey Shine
Victor Carberry
Larry Garlick
Doug Mueller
Jim Keller
Greg Sutton
Jerry Angel
Joe Lamond
Pete Costello
Garfield Redden
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster

Tommy Tutone is a power pop band, best known for its 1981 hit "867-5309/Jenny", which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Although it is usually referred to as a San Francisco band, it was actually based in Willits, California, at the time that "Jenny" was released. The song became so popular that people in the United States to this day dial this telephone number and ask for Jenny as a prank. Regarding the famous number, "We had people threatening to sue us. It was the Buffalo Chief of Police's daughter's number in New York," said frontman Tommy Heath.

A common misconception is that Tommy Tutone is the name of the lead singer; it is actually the name of the band. Tommy Heath is the lead singer. The name of the band developed from its original name, Tommy and the Tu-tones, to merely Tommy Tutone.

Foundation[edit]

Heath and Jim Keller founded the band in 1978, with Heath acting as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, also playing keyboards on occasion; Keller playing lead guitar and supporting vocals. Heath and Keller were the only constant members of Tommy Tutone during the band's heyday, and the lineup featured a rotating membership of bassists and drummers. Bassist Jon Lyons (original name Jonathan Lyons Terlep) who replaced original bassist, Terry Nails (Steve Jones, Ozzy Osbourne) was later replaced by Greg Sutton, Pete Costello, and Jimmy James. Mona Gnader, the bassist in Sammy Hagar's Waborita band, played with the band as well. Original drummer Mickey Shine (Clover and drummer on the first Elvis Costello album) was replaced by Victor Carberry for the band's second album. Carberry was in turn replaced with Jerry Angel. Joe Lamond played drums in the mid to late eighties. John Cowsill of The Cowsills played percussion (and sang) on "867-5309/Jenny."[1] From 2001 onward, the band has consisted of Heath, James, Greg Georgeson (guitar), Andy Gauthier (drums), and occasionally Costello.

Tommy Heath became a computer analyst and moved to Portland, Oregon where he worked for a startup called Cornerstone Revolutions, though he currently resides in Santa Rosa, California.[2] In 2007, the band signed a recording contract with Spectra Records.

Jim Keller went on to become the director of Philip Glass's publishing company, Dunvagen Music Publishers. He still performs in New York City.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart
positions
US
[3]
CAN
[4]
1980 Tommy Tutone 68 82
1981 Tommy Tutone 2
  • Release date: September 23, 1981
  • Label: Columbia Records
20 44
1983 National Emotion
  • Release date: April 16, 1983
  • Label: Columbia Records
179
1996 Nervous Love
  • Release date: January 22, 1996
  • Label: Appaloosa Records
1998 Tutone.rtf
  • Release date: July 28, 1998
  • Label: Secret Disc Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
Album
US
[5]
US Main
[5]
CAN
[6]
NZ
[7]
1980 "Angel Say No" 38 Tommy Tutone
1981 "867-5309/Jenny" 4 1 2 32 Tommy Tutone 2
1982 "Which Man Are You"
1983 "Get Around Girl" National Emotion
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References[edit]

External links[edit]