In 1979, Conway Twitty released “Happy Birthday Darlin'” as the third and final single off his album Cross Winds. The song quickly became a hit, ranking No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart – where it stayed on top for three weeks, spending a total of eleven remarkable weeks.
Since then, “Happy Birthday Darlin'” has become one of the most recognizable among Conway Twitty songs.
The Story Behind The Song
“Happy Birthday Darlin'” was written by Chuck Howard, who wrote some of the best country hits by Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.
It sings about a man who vows to correct a number of wrongs in his relationship. Rather than giving his significant other birthday presents this year, he decided to take some things away instead – and these are suspicions that cloud her world, lonely moments, so-so kisses, and the doubt she sometimes has about his love.
He promises to replace them with faith to hold on to, spending more time together, and sincere kisses. There will be no presents, no fancy cake but instead, things he will take, which he’s hoping will make her happy.
Twitty was enamored the moment he heard “Happy Birthday Darlin’.” He immediately did some background research on the song, and much to his surprise, he found out that the country ballad had made the rounds with no success. So, he decided then and there to record the song.
He rearranged it to suit his style and added an opening line where he begins with the spoken lyric, “Hello, Darlin'” – giving his 1970 hit of the same name, that also starts in the same way, a shoutout.
Make sure to listen to “Happy Birthday Darlin'” by Conway Twitty in the video below.