Friday, November 12, 2010

Today In Oldies 11/12/2010

Golden Hits Radio & GHR-2's Everything Oldies......fixing Oldies news whenever it breaks! 

Where In The World Is.........Tommy Tutone? 

For obvious reasons, very few songs have ever included actual telephone numbers in the title.  In the summer of 1982, Tommy Tutone became the target of threatened lawsuits and a handful of angry phone customers when they were riding the wave of their biggest hit, "867-5309 (Jenny)".  The song has endured long after its run on the charts, even if Tommy Tutone's career didn't. 

The band began in San Francisco in 1978.  The lineup was a revolving door during its original incarnation, but the two "anchors" of the group were lead singer and guitarist Tommy Heath and lead guitarist and backup vocalist Jim Keller.  The band once even included former Cowsills drummer John Cowsill.  While Tommy Tutone is known as a one hit wonder, they actually placed a song in the Top 40 before "867-5309 (Jenny)", 1980's "Angel Say No".  But their second album for Columbia Records contained the song that would become a classic. 

Written by Alex Call and band member Jim Keller, "867-5309 (Jenny)" flew off record store shelves, was hard to avoid on radio stations, and drew the ire of everyone across the country who actually had the number 867-5309.  Although it isn't known exactly how many households across the country had that number in the summer of '82, the band has provided a few clues over the years regarding some of the more notable ones.  In an interview, lead singer Tommy Heath mentioned the number belonged to the daughter of the Buffalo, New York police chief.  Songwriter Alex Call claims both the number and the name Jenny came out of thin air, but Heath has mentioned in subsequent interviews that the number belonged to a girl he knew and, as a prank, members of the band once wrote it on a bathroom wall at a club where they were playing a gig.  Real or not, the song was a smash, hitting #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Mainstream Rock Top Tracks chart.  Years later, the number has been listed for sale on eBay from time to time. 

The end of "867-5309 (Jenny)"s run on the chart meant the end for Tommy Tutone.  They split up in 1984.  Their members went on to record and perform with other artists, but Tommy Heath took on a brand new career, becoming a computer analyst in Portland, Oregon.  He reformed the band in 1992, and in 2007, Tommy Tutone had a record deal once again, signing with Spectra Records.  Tommy Heath relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in 2010 and plans to record new material and tour with Tommy Tutone.  Lead guitartist Jim Keller is still active in the music business, managing Phillip Glass's publishing company, Dunvagen Music Publishers.  To find out more about Tommy Tutone's continued endeavors, click here for their official website.

And now, the most popular listed phone number in music history.............

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

For its last 6 months on TV, American Bandstand moved from its longtime home at ABC to cable's USA Network, and Dick Clark stepped down as host.  Who was his replacement as host? 

Check back Monday @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess!

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

The name on his birth certificate reads Steven Dimitri Georgiou, but we know him better as ______________.

Answer: Multiple answers are acceptable here thanks to his ever changing stage name........Yussuf Islam, just plain Yussuf, OR his original 70's stage name........Cat Stevens

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