November 9

A 1971 Hit “Lead Me On” by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn

A 1971 Hit “Lead Me On” by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn 1

In 1970, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn recorded “Lead Me On,” their second duet single. It was just one day after cutting their first, “After The Fire Is Gone.” The song “Lead Me On” remained in Decca Records’ vaults until its release on September 6, 1971. In the meantime, “After The Fire Is Gone” had completed its way to No. 1 six months earlier.

As risque as it was, “Lead Me On” there was no resistance at all from radio or the public at large as it reached No. 1 in just two months after its release. However, Loretta was having problems with her management and as a result, “Lead Me On” appeared on the market at the same time as the formation of her new booking agency.

United Talent was co-owned by Twitty and Lynn with a two-person staff headed by Jimmy Jay. By 1977, the company coordinated tours for 25 different performers, including Mickey Gilley, Billy “Crash” Craddock and Moe Bandy, but the agency was originally formed just to handle bookings for Lynn and Twitty. Jay operated it differently than any other agency in Nashville in the fact that there were no written contracts with any of its acts. Everything was handled strictly on a handshake basis.

In one of their first headlining appearances after the agency’s debut, Conway and Loretta performed their new release “Lead Me On” with memorable results. Loretta found out that Conway was real bashful. After finding this out, she liked to pull little tricks on him to embarrass him. She had a special gown made with shorts and a top hooked together by Velcro connected to a long gown-like skirt. Conway opened “Lead Me On” with his part and when Loretta stepped up to the microphone to sing her verse, she pulled the Velcro apart. It made a “ripping” sound, as Velcro always does, and Twitty, thinking Loretta’s gown had ripped apart, nearly passed out.

The “Lead Me On” album wasn’t forgotten. Ten years after its release, it was finally certified gold, on October 29, 1981. As for Conway & Loretta’s career as a duet team, they went on to score three more No.1  hits and four consecutive “Duo of the Year” trophies from the Country Music Association from 1972 through 1975. These were the only CMA awards that Conway Twitty ever won, although Loretta Lynn amassed a total of eight, including 1972’s prestigious “Entertainer of the Year” award, the first female recipient of that honor. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1988, while Twitty was posthumously inducted into the Hall in 1999.


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