Tommy Tutone is a power pop band, best known for its 1982 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 “867-5309/Jenny” 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.
Although the band is frequently remembered as a one-hit wonder, it already had another Top-40 hit on the Hot 100 with “Angel Say No” from 1980.
Tommy 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. 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, a member of 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 who in turn was replaced with Jerry Angel. Joe Lamond played drums in the mid to late eighties. John Cowsill of The Cowsills played drums (and sang) on “867-5309/Jenny.” From 2001 onward, the band has consisted of Heath, James, Greg Georgeson (guitar), Andy Gauthier (drums), and occasionally Costello.
Video: Watch Tommy Tutone perform Jenny (867-5309) here: