Twenty-seven years ago, the world of country music mourned for the death of one of the finest singer-songwriters, Conway Twitty. He was only 59 then.
Conway’s life and his contribution to the music industry can’t be overstated. During his career, he recorded over 55 singles that appeared on the top list of the most popular charts. He had over 40 Billboard No. 1 singles on both country and pop charts. That’s more than any singer could have ever done, neither Elvis Presley nor the Beatles.
Today, let’s celebrate the life of a music icon and remember his legacy that still lives on.
He Died Doing The Thing He Loves
On June 4, 1993, Conway Twitty started feeling sick while he was performing at the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri. After his performance, he went straight to Fan Fair, which is now the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
Sadly, he collapsed on his tour bus and was taken to the Cox South Hospital. He was rushed into surgery but died due to an abdominal aortic aneurysm the next day.
He’s a Hall of Famer For Two Times
When you’re the singer of beautiful songs such as “After the Fire is Gone,” “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” “Lonely Blue Boy,” “To See My Angel Cry,” and “I Don’t Know A Thing About Love,” there’s no doubt that you’re going to be in a hall of fame. And Conway Twitty did it twice, both in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame.
His Accomplishments are Out of This World
When Conway Twitty recorded his first rock hit “It’s Only Make Believe,” it was sold with over eight million copies. He then started experimenting with several genres until he began working on the country music. Twitty’s first county hit was “Next in Line,” and it was branded as a real phenomenon in the music industry.
The popularity of the late singer also grew with enormous speed. During his onstage career, Conway Twitty had thousands of concerts all over the globe. He had more than 100 awards under his belt, including two Grammys.
He Was Loved By Many
Conway Twitty was undoubtedly one of the most well-loved in the industry, especially by his fellow country singers, Loretta Lynn and Reba McEntire.
When Loretta Lynn, his frequent duet partner and scored several hits together, saw Twitty entering the hospital, she stayed the night with Twitty’s wife, Dee Henry.
Reba McEntire, on the other hand, went above and beyond to make sure that Twitty’s family got to say goodbye. Twitty’s kids were all in Nashville with no way to quickly get to him.
“My father, Michael, got a hold of Reba McEntire in the middle of the night and told her the situation,” Tre Twitty, Conway Twitty’s grandson, said. “Reba said, ‘Go to the airport, my plane is waiting, take it as long as you need it. I’ll call my pilot now.'”
And Twitty’s son did just that. They all got to Springfield in time to say goodbye and flew back on McEntire’s plane.
“A couple of days later,” Tre Twitty continued, “my dad phoned Reba and asked how much they owed her for the plane rental. Reba said, ‘Your daddy took me on tour and gave me $5,000 a night when I wasn’t worth $500, you don’t owe me anything. I loved him.'”
He Was Not Only a Musician But also an Excellent Baseball Player
When Twitty was out of high school, he was offered a spot on the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he was drafted into the United States Army before he could even sign the contract.
During his stay in the Army, Twitty has been performing with his country band, The Cimmarons. And guess we could say everything worked out for the best, considering that he gave us country hits like “Lost in the Feeling,” “I Love You More Today,” “Next in Line,” “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,” “Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night,” and “Lead Me On.”
Conway Twitty may not be with us today, but he would continue to be with us forever through his songs and memorable performances.