Billboard #1 Hits: #507- ‘Jessie’s Girl’- Rick Springfield. August 1, 1981. #1 for 2 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.
- Single:’ Jessie’s Girl’- Rick Springfield
- Record Company- RCA Records
- Genre: Power Pop
- Written by Rick Springfield
- Time: 3:14
- B-side:’Carry Me Away’
- Album-Working Class Dog
- Grade: A
- Peaked at #1 2 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #1 in Australia.
This was Rick Springfield’s second hit on the Billboard Hot 100- ten years after his first ‘Speak To The Sky’- #14 in 1971. ‘Jessie’s Girl’ would end up being his biggest hit- his only #1- but he would have 16 Top 40 hits from 1981-88. ‘Jessie’s Girl’ won Springfield a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. If anyone ever asks you what was the number one song on the Billboard charts when MTV debuted on August 1, 1981- the answer- ‘Jessie’s Girl’- Rick Springfield.
Who is Jessie’s girl? We may never know, but in a Songfacts interview with Rick Springfield-, he told us the story. Said Rick: “I don’t know her name. It was a brief relationship I had when I was making stained glass for a while. I was going to a stained glass class in Pasadena, and I met this guy and his girlfriend. I was completely turned on to his girlfriend, but she was just not interested. So I had a lot of sexual angst, and I went home and wrote a song about it. Then about four months later I stopped going to the class and lost contact with them. The only thing I remember is his name was Gary, so I changed the name, because ‘Gary’ didn’t sing very well. But the whole thing is absolutely what I was feeling. He was getting it and I wasn’t, and it was really tearing me up. And sexual angst is an amazing motivator to write a song. Actually, Oprah’s people tried to find her, and they got as far back as finding the stained glass guy. I couldn’t remember his name, but I said it was late ’70s; they found him, and he had died two years earlier, and they’d thrown all his papers out a year after that. So we missed finding out who she was by a year.”