Remember '867-5309'? Songwriter's making a comeback
The 867-5309/Jenny song has survived three decades. Now Jim Keller, the songwriter behind that song is trying to make a comeback.
Story by The Takeaway. Listen to audio above for full report.
It's been almost 30 years since Jim Keller released the now-famous "867-5309/Jenny" song that became a Billboard smash hit.
And now, Keller is back trying to write new songs that capture that same magic he found back in 1982. He released a new album today, Soul Candy, his second in recent years. Keller said the system is setup for you to write the next hit after the first one. But it didn't turn out that way for him.
"I dropped playing, that was almost 10 years where I didn't play at all," Keller said. "The entire cycle happened. The rise and the fall. And then there was a period after that where I couldn't make a living so I had to do something else."
And it was a long road to get back.
"You can't rival that because part of it was I was 25, 26 when I was doing that," Keller said. "I can't rival that."
But his latest works have found a home in the area between pop and classic rock. Keller says those are the ares where he's most comfortable performing.
"When I sing, where I go and what melodies I gravitate toward is where I'm comfortable and that's where I express myself," Keller said. "I'm stuck with who I am and that's where I gravitate toward."
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated how long ago "867-5309/Jenny" came out.
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.