Jessie’s Girl

“And she’s watching him with those eyes. And she’s loving him with that body, I just know it.”

Hey, we’ve all been there, right? Madly in love with someone who’s taken? Ah, the sad life of the American teenager.

Fortunately we children of the 80s had our very own anthem to unrequited love, sung by General Hospital‘s own Dr. Noah Drake himself.

Before the summer of 1981, Rick Springfield had only had one other (moderate) hit, 1972’s “Speak to the Sky”, so his girlfriend Linda Blair (yes, she of the spinning head and pea-green puke in The Exorcist) suggested he take up acting. Sure enough, just as he landed the role on GH, Springfield’s music career finally took off, starting with “Jessie’s Girl”.

It entered the charts in March 1981, and a whopping 19 weeks later it finally reached #1 on August 1–which of course meant it was the top song in the land on the exact same day that (80s trivia alert!) a new channel called MTV premiered.

“Jessie’s Girl” stayed at #1 for two weeks and remained on the Billboard charts for a crazy-long 32 weeks total. And just like that, Rick was off and running.

Springfield later revealed that the song was indeed inspired by real life. While taking a stained glass class, he met a charming young gentleman named Gary, who had brought his lady along with him. Rick was instantly struck by the comely lass, who (unfortunately for Rick, but fortunately for fans of rock-solid 80s tunes) didn’t even look at the singer twice. Rick never found out her name, but it didn’t matter. In no time at all, he had his song.

“Gary’s Girl” didn’t exactly trip off the tongue, though, so Rick went with “Jessie”, after football player Ron Jessie, who was featured on one of Rick’s favorite t-shirts at the time. And voila, a pop career was born.

Springfield would end his music career with twenty top-100 singles, but none would be bigger than “Jessie’s Girl”–certified gold, named by Billboard as the #5 song for all of 1981, and winner of the 1982 Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

Not too shabby, doc!

We ♥ Jessie’s Girl.

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~ by weheart80s on April 26, 2017.

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