Summer was dating Bruce Sudano from the group Brooklyn Dreams when she started working on this song. According to Sudano, Giorgio Moroder sent her the track - a "beautiful, Italian kind of melody" - on a cassette, and Summer asked Bruce to write the lyric. He refused, telling her: "There's no way I'm writing this. The song is for you."
As for the lyric Summer came up with, Sudano told Songfacts
: "Donna could be very simple in her lyrics, or she could be esoteric. But basically, the story of 'On The Radio' is somebody hoping that the song on the radio will let the person know that they are in love with them. It's a bit esoteric, but I think that's what she was trying to say with that song."
Summer and Sudano got married in 1980 and were together until her death in 2012. They had children together, Brooklyn (an actress) and Amanda (a singer).