Rick Springfield is 70 this week.
Not a big star in the UK, but he was born Richard Springthorpe in New South Wales, Australia but moved to the US in 1972.
He was also an actor and, in the mid-90s, appeared in the US TV series High Tide and also portrayed Dr Noah Drake in the drama General Hospital. In the early 80s his singing career took off and recorded a song called Jessie’s Girl. No one was ever sure who Jessie actually was, but in an interview with Songfacts, he said, “”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.”
The song went to number in both the US and Australia but missed the top 40 in the UK despite much airplay on Radio 1. His previous hit, Human Touch reached number 25 in the UK, but let’s enjoy Jessie’s Girl.