Pulled from the archives, this footage will give you a rare glimpse into the early years of one country icon.
Making an appearance on the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show in January 1959, Dick Clark excitedly announced his surprise guest, and it was no other than Conway Twitty! The audience can be heard roaring in the background even before Clark finished saying his name.
Twitty dazzled the stage with a jaw-dropping performance of “It’s Only Make Believe.” He was only twenty-five years old at that time. Walking in front of The Little Theater in New York, Twitty was welcomed with a sea of women cheering and waving at him. Throughout the entire performance, you can catch glimpses of their thrill, and it is clear he has them under a spell!
The Song That Solidified Conway Twitty As A True Rockstar
Written by drummer Jack Nance and Conway Twitty himself, “It’s Only Make Believe” was released on side B of the song “I’ll Try” in July 1958. At the time, Twitty was a relatively unknown rock n’ roll singer. But that all changed when side B finally hit the chart in September, then made it to No. 1 twice within just two months. The single topped both U.S. and the U.K. Singles Chart and became the only No. 1 pop single of his career.
“My one and only prayer is that someday you’ll care, my hopes, my dreams come true, my one and only you. No one will ever know how much I love you so. My only prayer will be someday you’ll care for me, but it’s o-only make believe,” the song goes.
In 1970, Twitty recorded a duet with Loretta Lynn, on their first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe. The album’s first track is a cover of Twitty’s solo hit “It’s Only Make Believe.” Nearly two decades later, Twitty joined in on the last verse in the uptempo cover by Ronnie McDowell. McDowell’s version reached No. 8 on the country music charts.
Conway Twitty’s amazing success would continue, and he would see over fifty of his songs reach No. 1, including his best-known hit “Hello Darlin’.” He was one of the few artists to achieve such an accomplishment and left a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Check out the powerful performance of the young Conway Twitty in the video below. Any true Twitty fan will gush over this stunning time-worn footage.
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