Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Don Williams, “Listen to the Radio”

“Listen to the Radio”

Don Williams

Written by Fred O’Knipe

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

June 11 – June 18, 1982

If you’re wondering how Don Williams earned the nickname Gentle Giant,  take a “Listen to the Radio.”  

This is the most gentlemanly come on I have ever heard.  Williams’ protagonist is too shy to speak up about what he really wants, so he encourages his potential partner to listen to the radio.  He’s betting that two songs in particular – “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Baby Don’t Go” – will get the message across.

It doesn’t have the pathos of Donna Summer’s “On the Radio” or the whimsical humor of Nanci Griffith’s “Listen to the Radio,” but it’s quiet plea for some company tonight is a perfect fit for Williams’ signature style.

Listen to the Radio did very well on the radio.  After its lead single and title track topped the Radio & Records chart, Williams went top five with “Mistakes.”  He returned to No. 1 with the third single from the album, which we will cover in 1983.

“Listen to the Radio” gets a B+. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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1 Comment

  1. Williams continues to be a shockingly consistent stylist. His ability to undersell big emotions is no small gift.

    He is my country music security blanket.

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