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November 9

Conway’s 27th Chart-Topper, “How Much More Can She Stand”

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Conway's 27th Chart-Topper, “How Much More Can She Stand” 1

Country artist, Harold Lloyd Jenkins made a unique stage name by combining the names of two towns on a map: Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas. Conway Twitty first made a name for himself in the rock and roll music genre. He had his first No. 1 hit in 1958, “It’s Only Make Believe”. The name Twitty decorated rock record labels and marquees through 1964. However, Twitty could no longer go on with his charade. In his heart, he knew that he really wanted to sing country music. His first country success came in 1962. It was when Ray Price recorded his composition, “Walk Me To The Door.” Then after two years, Twitty closed out his rock career during an eight-week engagement at a New Jersey club. His manager had promised he could start doing country shows when that booking ended. Instead, he sent Twitty a new set of contracts for another rock tour. Twitty walked off the stage and never looked back.

Conway Twitty knew that country radio programmers would view his conversion suspiciously.  That’s why he purposely spent years grinding out hardcore country records to prove his sincerity. Even by 1971, traditional sounds continued to dominate his seventh chart-topping release, “How Much More Can She Stand.” The song was written by Harry Compton, one of the Compton Brothers. The brothers introduced “How Much More Can She Stand” to Twitty prior to a show in Wisconsin. They told him that they had showcased the song to almost every artist in Nashville and they didn’t get anyone to take it. The Compton brothers still felt it was a good song, and they wanted to get Twitty’s opinion. After hearing the song,” Twitty was surprised that everyone in town had turned it down. He thought it was great and told the boys that it would be his next single. True to his word, Conway recorded “How Much More Can She Stand.” He even brought in the song’s writer, Harry Compton, to sing the high tenor harmony parts. The record debuted on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart on March 20, 1971. In a rapid six-week ascension, it landed to No. 1 on May 8th, marking Twitty’s seventh of his forty chart-toppers, second only to George Strait’s official Billboard count of forty-four. Twitty died at 59 of an abdominal aneurysm while on tour near Springfield, Missouri in 1993. Conway Twitty was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.


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