On This Day: Reba McEntire Scores 35th #1 Single with ‘Turn on the Radio’ in 2010

by Matthew Wilson

Reba McEntire has had a long and prolific career with a string of No.1 hits. On this day, the country artist scored her 35th No.1 hit of her career with the single “Turn on the Radio.”

The fun and upbeat song entertained audiences back when it was released in 2010. Songwriters Cherie Oakley, Mark Oakley, and J.P. Twang are the inventors behind the song. Their tune wowed McEntire as soon as it was written.

“The song started with just a simple idea: a strong woman who had been done wrong by her man. And now he wants to get back in touch,” Oakley told The Boot. “We all sat down one morning in May in our home studio. And Mark began playing a riff on his guitar. This really set the stage for the entire attitude of the song. With that and the basic idea, it just all started flowing out of us. Different melody ideas and lyrics just came pouring out.”

Reba McEntire Connected With the Song

The trio wanted to write something that was fun and upbeat while also inspiring. Reba McEntire connected with the material of the song almost immediately and wanted to record it.

“This song had only been completed a matter of days when Reba’s people stumbled upon it,” Oakley continued. “Reba actually called and asked me personally if she could cut the song. She is such a brilliant artist, who has influenced me and so many others in so many ways. It truly was a surreal experience. When I said yes, she was so excited! She said, ‘You have made my day, Cherie.’ I was like, ‘No, YOU have made MY day!'”

McEntire really wanted to record the tune. The country singer saw how potential in the song. In fact, within 24 hours of the phone call, she was already in the studio. She invited Oakley to sing as backup vocals on the tune.

“It was such a cool experience to hear it for the first time,” McEntire said. “Words can’t really describe it. She just nailed the vocals, and [producer] Dann Huff, as always, did amazing work with the production. I just was blown away. When you write a song, you have a distinct vision for it. I have to say, I could not be happier.”

For her album “All the Women I Am,” McEntire chose the song to be her lead single. And the tune has been wowing audiences ever since.