Today, columnist Kevin Wuench sets the record straight on Tommy Tutone:
Without any argument, 867-5309/Jenny is perhaps the one of the most iconic and beloved songs of the '80s. Most have never heard any other song by Tommy Tutone, so for those who are curious let's dial up another Tutone song/fun video with Which Man Are You.
As our '80s education continues, the majority of people still think that Tommy Tutone is a man. Actually, it is just the band name led by singer Tommy Heath. A common misconception is that Tommy Tutone's first and only Top 40 hit is 867-5309/Jenny. That is wrong as well as in 1980, the San Francisco band hit the Top 40 with Angel Say No. In 1982, 867-5309/Jenny went Top 5 latter that summer a humorous video was conceived for the follow up single, Which Man Are You.
Which Man Are You only made it to No. 101 on the pop charts but it's a solid song with a video that starts off like a routine performance video before it begins a storyline of two former classmates and their adult lives with Heath as the class clown and guitarist Jim Keller as the goody-two-shoes class president.
Perversity and straight-laced duel side-by-side between the two classmates in the bedroom and the breakfast table that answers the musical question of Which Man Are You? A treat for SNL fans is that the wife of both men is played by Lorraine Newman – first as the doting wife and the other as the chain-smoker who isn't offended by Fruit Loops with beer for breakfast.
Tommy Tutone broke up in the mid-'80s only to reunite again in the '90s and will be on The '80s Cruise next March. The legacy of 867-5309 still lives on as marching bands perform the song at halftime and somebody is always out there giving a shout-out to the song. My favorite occurred on July 3, 2014, when (then) Tampa Bay Ray manager Joe Maddon filled out his batting lineup card by position 8 -6-7-5-3-0-9 (with the DH being the zero for baseball geeks). The '80s karma didn't work for the Rays that day as they ended up losing 8-1 to the Detroit Tigers.