Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………on July 25th of 1981 “Jessie’s Girl”, by Australian rocker Rick Springfield, was the top selling single in America on Cash Box’s Singles Sales Chart. It would go on to be named Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at next year’s Grammy Awards.This was Springfield’s second Top 20 hit (the first being “Speak To The Sky” in 1971) and it was his only #1, where it stayed for two weeks in August 1981. The popularity of the song and album that summer was bolstered by the fact that Springfield, also an actor, had landed the role of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital earlier that spring. Springfield began acting in the mid-’70s when his music career had stalled and his then-girlfriend, actress Linda Blair, suggested he try it. Who is Jessie’s girl? We may never know, but in our 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.This was the #1 song in the United States when MTV launched on August 1, 1981. The video became a favorite on the fledgling network, as the photogenic Springfield starred in a well-produced promo where he used his acting skills to portray his angst. Springfield says it’s his only video where he took creative control, storyboarding it himself. The scene where he smashes the mirror remains an iconic clip; it was the most expensive part of the video, since Rick estimates that went through 24 mirrors. The song however was only a minor hit in the UK where it topped off at #43.