Fact or Fiction

867-5309

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The song "Jenny (867-5309)" was an '80s sensation. A hit for Tommy Tutone, it was written by Alex Call, who was in the band Clover with Huey Lewis. Alex' book 867-5309 Jenny: the Song That Saved Me is equal parts biography, tour diary, and gritty success story. It's where Alex recounts his adventures in Clover, his struggle with alcoholism, and the revival of his career by "Jenny," the song about a guy who becomes infatuated with a phone number on a bathroom wall.

Alex is a very interesting dude; a talented songwriter and musician who never found fame but may have found something better: publishing royalties. The great thing about writing a hit like "867-5309" is that checks keep showing up in your mailbox.

The reason this song keeps giving is that it keeps showing up in popular culture. Stories swarm around the girl and the number, the song and its writer. Let's see if you can you tell "867-5309" fact from fiction.
For more stories about Alex Call, Tommy Tutone, Huey Lewis, Carlos Santana, Thin Lizzy, and more, check out his book 867-5309 Jenny: the Song That Saved Me. Here's a bit about how in his early days, Alex jammed with a guitarist who would later serve a life sentence for murder:
"One afternoon... Mitch and I played along with a weird, stoned guy who Johnny Ciambotti knew a little named Bummer Bob. He played catatonic guitar, eyes glazed over from god-knows-what coursing through his veins. We felt like little kids playing with a weirdo. Later, Bummer Bob killed the bagpipe player with a sword as part of Charles Manson's 'family.'"
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Comments: 25

  • Robert from TexasBrown University obtained the +1-401-867 prefix in 1999, assigning 867-5309 to a student dormitory room which was promptly inundated with nuisance calls. In 2002, the university transferred the number to Gem Plumbing & Heating, a local business in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
  • Tom from NjThe song was co-written by Jim Keller, lead guitarist for the band at the time. If you watch the video, Jim ends up with Jenny at the end.
  • Jennifer from Buffalo NyI HATE THIS SONG! It came out during my senior year of high school. 80% of my yearbook signings began with "Jenny Jenny". June of 1980 was the last time I referred to myself as Jenny. I became Jenn or Jennifer. The only people who are allowed to call me that name are related and/or have known me since before 1981.
    My friends think it is funny that I still cringe when I hear it. Just last weekend while visiting family itcame on and my cousin laughed about how she had the DJ play it at my wedding!
  • Jjd from AtlantaIn the late 60's, there was a rumor that if you dialed 834-7135, with a London area code, you would reach the Beatles, and be invited to live on some private island or something. The numbers loosely corresponded with the band's name. Or maybe you had to flip and reverse the name?
    And huh - it didn't work!
  • Steven from Cold Water Ohio 45828What is the area code to song Jenny 8675309 I'm trying to call it so I can see that I can be the real man for jenny.
  • St from Griffin Sorry Charles from Jeffersonville.......but what the hell does the number 555 have anything to do with what people were commenting about a song from the eighties.
  • George Escamilla from Selma, CaI have Jenny 867-5309 on my mobile phone. My wife angrily asked who Jenny was!
  • Mr Scott from Northern CaliforniaThe number wasn't a 415, it was a Santa Cruz number, 408 at the time when I spent an evening with miss Jenny Mc... whom I met at J-in-the-B on Ocean Blvd, and had the fun of hanging out with one Spring evening at her parents mansion in the hills above Santa Cruz, 1978. He claims he made up the name & number for the song but I believe he must have seen it - possibly on a restroom wall - maybe put there by an ex, but that's the number she gave me that awesome night back in 1978, and which I found in a box of old junk last year while sorting & packing for a move.
    God she was a DOLL! She drove a quick blue VW Super Beetle and I could barely keep up in my 914.
    -Since she was being pursued by a local College Football player I opted out but always regretted not trying my best to win the heart of the most attractive girl I've ever met.
  • Cheryl from Jamestown,nyAlways loved the song and was a great bar tune. Can't stand still when it comes on!!!
  • Devildog from Rhode Island, UsaThis number is used local for a plumbing company.... LOL
  • Joe from New Jersey8675309 is a twin prime; 8675309 + 2 is also a prime number.
  • Matthew from Portland, OrIf you are traveling around the US and need to pick up a few items at the local supermarket, drug store, etc. and don't have their "loyalty card" use the local area code and 867-5309. 9 times out of 10 it will work and you can save a little money!
  • Allen Sokolik from Willimantic Ct.OMG I feel old now cuz when this was popular bk in 1982 I was seven yrs old & I use to sing & dance to it all the time & I admit that I also tried calling this number bk then to see if there was really a Jenny lol Ik now there was no real Jenny but did not know that back then
  • Jennie from IndianaThe song was co-written by a guy named Jim, Tommy TuTone's guitar player. In 1982, when this song was popular, I, Jennie, was dating a guy named Jim, who still has my heart to this day. <3
  • Beautyanddabeast from Flagstaff, AzVery interesting! I had not heard of this song, believe it or not! But I had always thought that the most famous phone number in song was "634-5789"!!
  • Bryan M from Springfield, Mo867-5309 was a valid number on the local exchange for our region. It has since been placed on the no issue list along with numbers that spell obscenities. I worked overnight at a Kinko's copy shop for a while with a woman named Jenny, who claimed, you might guess, she used to have the phone number and got pranked a lot. Only to have people freak out when she answered that yes, indeed, this was for FACT Jenny.
  • Heather from Nashville TnI don't know about Tampa, but here in the metro Nashville area there is a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Co. that franchises out their stores. One of them does have 867-5309 as their primary phone line & no gimmicks on the outgoing message, other than the man who recorded it states you can leave "Jenny" a message. I don't know which location beacause here the 615 area code covers almost all of central TN. I'd imagine that most of us who are old enough to remember that catchy phrase phone number are too old to be crank calling. But because of the high demand for phone numbers due to the cell phone industry, we could probably find many of "Jenny's" numbers functioning all over the USA. That makes me wonder if they do receive crank calls, have they figured out who Jenny is & why people as for her. Haha, sounds like a late night drinking game by college or high school students....., it sure was decades ago!
  • Andy from Yorkville, IlWhen the song first came out people just couldn't resist calling or trying it with different area codes
    Just to see if there really was a Jenny .
  • Jenni from Tampa@TampaDawn, when I first saw that commercial, I was like "Groan"... oh, well... what can you say?
  • Patrick Mccutcheon from WvJust tried pranking the Ben Franklin Plumbing and they read my phone number back to me. Guess that's always a nice safety precaution for them.
  • D from TampaThe bass player on the song lives in Tampa and gig in bar bands there.
  • Charles J Fritz Iii from Jeffersonvillemovies and tv used 555 well before this song came out sorry
  • Steven from Universal City, TxIn high school 2008, they had the dance team committee allowed THIS song, but not "Jumpin' Jack Flash".....people these days...
  • Richard Beethoven from TorontoI remember reading about a family in the U.S. on the east coast, who actaully had that phone number. They recieve thousands of calls for "Jenny", which was a total nusance. Now, because of that incident, you alwasy see movie and tv phone numbers given as starting with "555" to avoid that.
  • Tampadawn from Tampa FlJust an extra bit of trivia regarding this number. Here in Tampa, in the 813 area code, the 867-5309 use by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and they have their own "version" of "the song" on their TV commercials-only it's ...."Benny , I got your number..."!!!

    They have had it for years now! First time I heard it, I definitely did a double-take, but it' the real number!
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