Song Lyric Sunday | “On the Radio” – Donna Summer

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  Record/Jukebox/DJ/Radio.

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There are those who would choose playing in oncoming traffic over listening to disco. No harm, no foul. I’m related to quite a few of those individuals.

But along with funk and 70s pop, disco was MY coming-of-age music. It was perfect for dancing… and I loved dancing, so, voila! Perfect match!

Every music era has its royalty and disco’s queen was Donna Summer. She had fourteen hits appear on the Billboard Disco charts. One of her last disco entries, On the Radio, peaked at number 8.

Donna Summer wrote this disco hit with record producer Giorgio Moroder for Adrian Lyne’s 1980 teen drama Foxes, starring Jodie Foster, Scott Baio and Runaways singer Cherie Currie.  However, it is not the disco version that is heard in the movie or on the soundtrack, but Moroder’s ballad-tempo instrumental with Summer’s vocals.

In the song, Summer is pining for a lost love and hopes to reconnect by broadcasting her feelings on the radio.

Released as a single in February 1980, On the Radio was Donna’s tenth top-ten hit in the U.S. as well as her eighth and final consecutive top 5 single. It peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on the soul chart.

FUN FACTS:

  • Summer had a difficult time coming up with the lyrics until another singer inadvertently gave her a jolt of inspiration. She told NPR’s Fresh Air in 2003: “I was at the piano, and Stephen Bishop’s record was on the top of the piano, and I looked at the record, and I know Stephen, and we’ve written together, and I’m like, you know, how would Stephen say this? What line would he come up – he’s so clever. And all of a sudden, this one line came to me, and it was ‘must have fallen out of a hole in your old brown overcoat,’ and it was like a lightning bolt.
  • The instrumental parts of the song were occasionally heard on the US version of The Price Is Right in the early 1980s when they displayed jukeboxes and stereos as prizes.
  • On the Radio was featured in the 1997 biopic Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez. The late Tejano singer had covered the song during a sold-out performance at the Houston Astrodome in 1995.
  • On the Radio was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, but lost to Bette Midler’s The Rose.

The video is from a live performance.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

On the Radio

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.

13 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “On the Radio” – Donna Summer

  1. Love this one! Donna Summer’s voice WAS disco. And yet her music was loved by a much broader audience. I wasn’t a disco fan but I loved her and her music. Thanks for bringing it back!

    Liked by 1 person

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