Hello Darlin’ is just one of the many Conway Twitty songs that definitely hit us right in the feels. In almost over 40 years of his music career, Conway made our hearts long and swoon with his songs. Though his career was quite overlooked when talking about the legends and the greats, it will never be anything less than that. As proof, he earned 40 number one Billboard Hits during his time. This was a record until George Strait broke it in 2006.
Aside from his chart-topping hits, he was also known for his adept musical transition. When he started his career in 1955, he was into rock n’ roll and R&B, and he also explored pop genres. It was in the mid-’60s where he finally shifted to country music and earned recognition. Conway Twitty was inducted in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame for his contributions.
We compiled 10 greatest Conway Twitty songs that you can listen to when you just want to really pour out your emotions.
1. Danny Boy, 1959
This old Irish ballad was penned in 1913 by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly set to the traditional Irish melody titled Londonderry Air. The song was born after Weatherly’s sister-in-law sent him a copy of the song wherein he modified the original lyrics of Danny Boy to fit its tune. He gave the song Elsie Griffin who gave life to it and made it one of the most popular songs of the new century.
In 1915, Ernestine Schumann-Heink produced the song’s first recording. After its success, various artists made their own version. One of the most popular was Conway Twitty’s, who transformed the song into the sound of ’50s rock celebration. It reached No. 18 on the R&B charts and number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not everyone became a fan of his version and it was one of the songs eventually banned by the BBC.
2. It’s Only Make Believe, 1959
It’s Only Make Believe is one of the two signature songs (the other being Hello Darlin’) in his catalogue. The song was written by Twitty himself along with drummer Jack Nance during their 1958 tour across Ontario, Canada. The song was a side B track for his album recorded under MGM Records.
The song hit the chart in September then peaked at number 1 twice in November. It also topped on both the US and the UK Singles Chart. Not only that, but the song also earned him first and only number one pop single. The song became a massive hit in over 22 countries and sold over 8 million copies.
3. Hello Darlin’, 1970
This song has become one of the songs that truly defined his country music career as it also became his standard concert opener. He penned the song himself back in the ’50s while he was still a rock and roll singer but decided to record it in 1969 when he switched to country music. Its iconic hook “Hello darlin’, nice to see you.” was suggested by record producer Owen Bradley.
The song earned massive recognition becoming his fourth number-one hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It was also named as the number 1 song of 1970. Hello Darlin’ also made history after its Russian version titled Privet Radost was played during the Apollo/Soyuz space mission. In 1999, his recording was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
4. After the Fire is Gone, 1971
This song was written by L.E. White and recorded by Conway Twitty with Loretta Lynn. It was released in January 1971 as the only single from the album We Only Make Believe. After the Fire is Gone peaked at number 56 on Billboard Hot 100 and topped the US Country chart making it their first chart-topping hit as a duo.
The song’s success also prompted various artists to cover the song. In 1974, Willie and Tracy Nelson performed their own cover version which peaked at number 17 on the country charts. Allison Moorer and Steve Earl recorded a duet cover of the song as well for their 2010 tribute album to Loretta titled Coal Miner’s Daughter.
5. You’ve Never Been This Far Before, 1973
Despite its controversial lyrics, You’ve Never Been This Far Before achieved success on the chart earning Twitty his tenth number one on the country chart. It was also his only song that crossed over from the country chart to the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 22.
The song was banned by several radio stations due to its overly sexual lyrics such as, “I don’t know what I’m saying as my trembling fingers touch forbidden places“. But its success may have been in part because of its catchy refrain. This song was his second single and title track for the album of the same name.
6. Linda On My Mind, 1987
Linda On My Mind is yet another controversial song of his that got people riled up as it talked about a man lying with a woman yet thinking of another. But Conway Twitty defended the song which he also wrote, saying that sex was always part of country and taking it out meant that it was no longer country music.
But even with the moral controversy in the song, it easily became his 12th number one hit on the country singles charts. He released the song as his first single and title track for the album of the same name.
7. You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly, 1978
This song was part of the album Honky Tonk Heroes, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s eight collaborative album under MCA Records. The album which also contained 10 duet tracks, peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot Country LP’s charts. The two make a comfortable pair and their songs have always garnered love and attention from listeners.
This song was kind of a perfect background song for a romantic comedy series with alternating teasing and insulting. It truly showcased the musical chemistry between Lynn and Twitty.
8. Don’t Take It Away, 1979
Don’t Take It Away was originally recorded by country music artist Jody Miller in 1975 for her album Will You Love Me Tomorrow. The song was written by Troy Seals and Max D. Barnes. The song peaked at number 67 on the US Country charts.
In 1979, Conway Twitty recorded his own cover of the song for his album Cross Winds. His powerful and dynamic vocal performance in R&B style earned recognition from fans. And his version hit and topped the charts. This song became his 21st number one country hit.
9. I’d Love To Lay You Down, 1980
This song was part of his quite a list of controversial songs. Written by Johnny MacRae, this song was called out by Paul Harvey and labeled by him as “porno country.” Nevertheless, I’d Love To Lay You Down which was the first single from Twitty’s album Heart & Soul, earned him his 24th number one on the country chart. In addition, it also sold over 300,000 digital copies.
In 2002, Daryle Singletary released his cover of the song peaking at number 43 on the same charts.
10. Tight Fittin’ Jeans, 1981
This song was written by Michael Huffman and released as the first single from Twitty’s 1981 album, Mr. T. In the original version of the song, there were no electric guitar leads featured, but after the album was released, they released a single version with overdubs of electric guitar.
Tight Fittin’ Jeans is about an unhappy rich woman who decided to live out her dream of being a cowgirl by wearing jeans, drinking beer, and dancing. Though the song was kind of strange, it became Twitty’s 26th number one hit on the country charts.
These Conway Twitty songs are really worth the listen!