What’s Goin’ On

Throwback: 'Call Me'

No. 1 today in 1980: Blondie's biggest hit single


These days it sounds like such a sweet, antiquated notion: "Call Me." Then again, "Text Me" doesn't quite have the same seductive ring to it.

But 37 years ago America jumped at Deborah Harry's invitation to "roll me in designer sheets," propelling Blondie's biggest hit to No. 1 on April 19, 1980.

The galloping come-on—the theme song of the steamy, stylish Richard Gere flick "American Gigolo"—was written by Harry, then 34, and Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder. He had first invited Stevie Nicks to write and perform a song for the soundtrack, but her contractual obligations with a new record company reportedly caused her to turn him down.

Enter Harry, who smoothed out the melody of an instrumental Moroder called "Man Machine" and wrote the lyrics, spicing up the language of love with playful enticements in Italian and French.

"Call Me" rode the top position for six weeks that spring and was named 1980's song of the year by Billboard. It also earned Blondie a 1981 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Hard to imagine it doing so well among today's legion of thumb-typers.

Photo by Brian Cooke/Redferns