Written by Stephen Allen Davis and Dennis Morgan
#1 (1 week)
May 25, 1985
Charly McClain’s final number one single deserves to be an evergreen hit like her first one became.
For all of the lonely, hard working single women who have tuned into country radio over the years, they don’t get their stories told on that radio very often. “Radio Heart” tells the story of one of those women with surprising intimacy, and McClain’s tender vocal performance completely embraces her.
It feels like she’s singing directly to her, and it’s easy to imagine this very woman listening to this very song on the radio: “She’s found a little salvation in a local station.”
The nervy grit of McClain’s performance of “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” couldn’t be any further away from the empathetic warmth of her performance here. With such versatility as a singer, and a lengthy run on Epic Records, I’m not sure why McClain never got the credit or the accolades for her talents.
But she’s got a pair of number one hits that can rival anyone else of this era, so I can’t help but think there are more gems in her catalog waiting to be rediscovered.
McClain had a handful of hit singles with her husband, Wayne Massey, but she never had another big solo hit after “Radio Heart.” She exited Epic in 1987 and recorded one album for Mercury before retiring from the profession at the turn of the decade.
“Radio Heart” gets an A.
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