Tommy Tutone

Tulsa-bound Tommy Tutone is shown during a 2018 performance in Pompano Beach, Florida. Michele Eve Sandberg/Invision via AP

The song “867-5309/Jenny” deserves to be on the soundtrack of the 1980s.

Tommy Tutone, responsible for the song, is coming to Tulsa.

Tommy “Tutone” Heath will perform a solo show at 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Soul City of Tulsa, 1621 E. 11th St. Tulsa power pop music artist Dwight Twilley is expected to make a guest appearance.

Led by vocalist/guitarist Tommy Heath and lead guitarist Jim Keller, Tommy Tutone started out as a twangy bar band in San Francisco in the late 1970s. The band rocked with a traditional five-piece configuration: two guitarists, bassist, keyboards and drummer.

The band, after exploring other trails, fine-tuned a stylized power pop sound and, skinny neckties and all, demonstrated the modernized new wave/power pop style on a first single, “Angels Say No.”

The 1981 release of an even catchier follow-up single, “867-5309/Jenny,” coincided conveniently with the golden age of MTV.

The video for the song featured Heath and Keller battling over a blond in a tavern. Said a news release: “It was as goofy as any other contemporary pop-rock clip on MTV at that time, but the hooks in the song’s intro and chorus were undeniably infectious.”

The song — which reached No. 4 and went gold — became the band’s biggest hit. Six years ago, VH1 ranked it No. 4 among the 100 greatest songs of the ’80s.

Tommy Tutone broke up after a third album. In 1994, Heath released a country album. In 1998, he released a new Tommy Tutone album. Then came a 2008 follow-up solo album featuring original songs that paid tribute to his love of country and soul music. His latest album (“Beautiful Ending”) is a new chapter in a continuing career.

Said the news release: “Merging elements of rock and roll, country, rockabilly and soul, Tutone offers a memorable album of what very well could be his finest work.”

The album features a title single and an interpretation of the classic Jim Croce song “Operator.”


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Jimmie Tramel

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Scene Writer

Jimmie is a pop culture and feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, he has written books about former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer and former Oklahoma State football coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389