Over the summer sometime, Shortwave America will be releasing a special communications humor show focused on the 1982 radio hit, "Jenny" (867-5309) by Tommy Tutone. You may ask what is so original about that, right?
Well, after doing a ton of research...it turns out that this number is actually operational and that the song has been making somewhat of a comeback. In true Shortwave America style, this episode will be well planned, well written, and well-executed.
According to Snopes: This fabled telephone number still drives telecom companies and their customers crazy to this very day. This same source reports rumors of a band member who had a girlfriend named Jenny who had this phone number, and when the break - up happened, the songwriter created this work as a form of harassment and the girlfriend took him to court resulting in an order of protection and the song being pulled by the courts for a short time.
This source says other telephone numbers have been ruined, to wit:
Phone Number: 776-2323
Year ruined: 2003
How it was ruined: Bruce Nolan, the main character of the movie Bruce Almighty, uses this number repeatedly to call God. Fittingly, the number connected some callers to a Reverand based in Atlanta, Georgia. When he was interviewed about receiving so many phone calls, he replied, "If they ask us if God is there, we say, 'Yes.' He's with us all the time.'"
Phone Number: 281 330-8004
Year ruined: 2005
How it was ruined: This was the actual cell phone number of the rapper and one hit wonder, Mike Jones. WARNING: link is explicit and toolish.
Phone Number: OXford-0614 (Thanks g1smd)
Year ruined: 1932
How it was ruined: Actor Stan Laurel used a phone number in the movie Helpmates. Unfortunately for him, it was his actual number.
Phone Number: Unknown #
Year ruined: 1997
How it was ruined: The number displayed on the construction company in the movie Good Will Hunting. The phone number was the actual number of Matt Damon's previous employer.
Phone Number: 634-5789
Year Ruined: ca. 1967
How Ruined: The number was the title to Wilson Pickett's classic soul hit, in which he implored his babe to give him a call:
"If you need a little lovin'
Call on me....(alright)
If you want a little huggin'
Call on me baby....(mmhmm)
Oh I'll be right here at home.
All you gotta do is
Pick up the telephone, and dial now
6-3-4-5-7-8-9 (that's my number!)
Hear it on YouTube
Beechwood 4-5789 - Marvelletes (1962) and The Carpenters (1981)
Pennsylvania 6-5000 - Glenn Miller - This one worked out, as this it is the phone number for the Pennsylvania Hotel in New York City.
Way back in the day the dialing prefixes used exchange names as they were told to the operator who then connected you. Later this was changed as the conversion to all number direct dialing was implemented. The caller would dial the number corresponding to the first two letters in the exchange (Beechwood 4-5789 would become 234-5789)
Phone Number: 439-0116
Year Ruined: 1992
How it was ruined: The former phone number of Sublime lead singer, Brad Nowell, mentioned in their song "Don't Push" :
Laughter, its free
Anytime just call me
This video is a medical education spoof of the original song, and translates to phone number 275-2640 when you match the letters in the parody chorus to the phone pad.(BP, L, and BMI) add a zero at the end when the letters run out for mathematical purposes. I guess we can add this number to the list of ruined numbers now!
Here's the plan: I'll call 867-5309 in different area codes, introduce myself as someone from the Senseless Radio Surveys Corporation, advise them the call is being recorded for quality journalistic purposes, and ask them silly / senseless questions revolving around the number and the song, see how long they stay on the line. Already tried it at one number and it worked like a charm! The individual stayed on the line confused as you can imagine!
867-5309 also has a real twitter account. Isn't that funny?