The Unusual Musical Journey of 1980’s Country Hitmaker’s Exile
It's 1978 and I'm working in country music radio at KKAA in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
While I'm knee-deep in Waylon and Willie, Cash and Paycheck, Jones and Wynette, I'm also supplementing my exorbitant income from radio by working dances and spinning records (yes records, it's the old days), mostly for high school homecomings and the like. Remember now, it's 1978 and we're in the middle of it...it being...
So while I was loving me, Loretta and Dolly, on the radio, on some of those weekend dance parties, I was spinning KC and the Sunshine Band, the Bee Gees, and the ever-popular Village People (nothin' like watching a gym full of 16 and 17 years old's spelling out 'YMCA'...the 20-minute version).
In the middle of all the disco and pop hits came a group called Exile and they had a monster pop and dance hit called 'Kiss You All Over'. The kids loved it because it was certainly dance-friendly and basically it was exactly what they were thinking about!
That song spent 4 weeks atop the pop/rock charts and was a best seller for six months. And so, end of the story.
But wait, not the end of the story.
Fast forward five years. Now it's 1983 and a group called Exile has their first of ten...ten!..number one country hits. Interesting that another group called Exile would top the country chart. Except, it wasn't another group. The band that invited young people to 'Kiss You All Over' was the same band that was one of the 1980's biggest acts!
Well, not exactly the same group. Thanks to new members (along with original members, perhaps most notably J.P. Pennington), the Kentucky-based group moved into country music and millions of us country fans are glad they did!
Among their chart-topping country smashes were 'I Could Get Used To You', Hang On To Your Heart' and this number one the band performs on 'Nashville Now', 'She's A Miracle.
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