Jesse’s Girl – Rick Springfield | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 2 weeks); 1981

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Yes, there really was a “Jessie’s girl.” Smitten by her, yet unwilling to betray his buddy, Rick did what any musician would do: he wrote a song about the situation. America’s record charts were not a foreign land to Aussie Rick, yet, neither did Speak To The Sky – a #14 hit in 1972 – exactly rocket him to stardom.

That vehicle lay in the TV soap, “General Hospital,” in which Rick played Dr. Noah Drake. (Rick just missed making a splash in the 1978 rock ‘n’ roll film bio of Buddy Holly when the lead honors went to Gary Busey instead.) Rick’s role helped propel Jessie’s Girl to the top, where it sat at 12:01 AM on August 1, 1981: the moment MTV made its debut.

Rick’s visual drawing power, coupled with catchy pop tunes, resulted in multiple plays on the new all-video channel, and hot action in the record bins.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Keith Olsen

Lyrics Written by:

  • Rick Springfield


  • “Jessie’s Girl” won the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, Grammy Award in 1982