Days after the world lost the legendary Conway Twitty, another country legend paid tribute to the late singer with an emotional rendition of his iconic “Hello Darlin’,” and it’s none other than George Jones.
Is there anything more incredible than one legend honoring a fellow legend?
“Thank goodness for George Jones,” said the host during the tribute. “He’s just recorded a new album, and he’s going to sing one of the numbers for ya tonight…To me it’s the most poignant, poignant thing the entire evening.”
Indeed, he was right. Jones then came into view and kicked off his remarkable performance of the heart-wrenching “Hello Darlin’.” While Jones was at the height of his game, the audience was noticeably seen in tears as he was about to end his powerful performance.
Following Jones’ performance, an emotional Loretta Lynn took the stage over to honor her longtime friend and music partner with a meaningful performance of one of Twitty’s biggest hits, “It’s Only Make Believe.”
Twitty died after suffering an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 1993. He was 59. In honor of the music icon’s passing, Jones released his own rendition of “Hello Darlin’,” off his 1993 album High Tech Redneck. Jones originally recorded a cover version in 1972.
Conway Twitty’s Iconic Hit in the 1970s
Written by Conway Twitty himself, “Hello Darlin'” tells the tale of a man who – by a twist of fate – ran into his old flame.
“Hello, darlin’. Nice to see you. It’s been a long time. You’re just as lovely as you used to be,” the man acknowledged her as he tried to put up his bravado, saying he’s getting along fine without her. But he got to admit, “I can’t sleep, and I cry all night ’til dawn.”
The man continued detailing his deep sorrow from the mistakes he made that led to the end of their relationship, then – after sharing one last embrace – he finally let her go.
“Goodbye, darlin’. I gotta go now. Gotta try to find a way to lose these memories of a love so warm and true. And if you should ever find it in your heart to forgive me, come back, darlin’. I’ll be waitin’ for you,” the song goes.
As heartbreaking as it may seem, the song became Twitty’s fourth No. 1 song on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart, spending four weeks on top of that chart that summer. “Hello Darlin'” was also named the No. 1 song of 1970.
“Hello Darlin'” was released in 1970 as the first single and title track from Twitty’s album of the same name. In addition to being his standard concert opener, “Hello Darlin'” became a country standard and his signature song.
Twitty’s impact on country music can not be overstated. His legacy still lives on in more ways than one. Tune in below and watch George Jones honor him with a poignant performance of “Hello Darlin’.”