Conway Twitty was undoubtedly a one-man hit machine ever since he started his career on the infamous Memphis label Sun Records. And throughout his career, from his pop and rock beginnings during the 1950s to his pivot to the country music in the mid-1960s. He already had over fifty songs that reach the top of the charts.
Here are just some of our favorite songs from Conway Twitty.
9. You’ve Never Been This Far Before
From: You’ve Never Been This Far Before (1973)
Conway Twitty earned his most controversial and most eyebrow-raising No. 1 country hit in 1973. In fact, several radio stations banned the song after receiving feedback from outraged listeners for lines such as: “I don’t know what I’m saying / As my trembling fingers touch forbidden places” and, “And as I taste your tender kisses / I can tell you’ve never been this far before.”
But despite that, “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” still became a No. 1 hit, and it spent three weeks there. It was also the only song of Conway Twitty from the country chart to cross over onto the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.
8. Linda On My Mind
From: Linda on My Mind (1987)
Conway wrote “Linda On My Mind” while he was on a tour bus on his way to a show in California. Once it was recorded and released in January 1975, it kicked off the New Year for Conway Twitty as the highest-debuting single on the chart that year.
With the song’s acclaimed fame, his fans constantly bombarded him with the question, “Who’s Linda?” Conway Twitty never had a direct answer for them. He chose to keep it as part of the song’s mystique. The country star even felt that this mystery was a big reason for “Linda On My Mind,” became a chart-topping hit.
Well, whoever “Linda” was – if she even existed – she helped create another link in what was to become a long chain of controversial records by Conway Twitty.
7. I’d Just Love to Lay You Down
From: Heart & Soul (1980)
Once again, Conway Twitty was able to find another hit song that offended several people. Like his other recordings, “I’d Love to Lay You Down” was considered too risky and was even banned from some radio station playlists.
Then again, the song rose to the top of country charts and became the legendary country star’s another No. 1 hit single. The country singer defended the song in Tom Roland’s Billboard Book of No. 1 Country Hits. “It’s not an off-color song. It’s a love song about a couple who have been married for several years,” Twitty explained. “I think the women who listen to the song recognize this fact. The men don’t, and that’s why some of the stations aren’t playing it – the men are making the decisions.”
6. I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)
From: By Heart (1984)
“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song),” written by Harlan Howard, featured Twitty’s daughter Joni Lee in the backing vocals. It went to No. 1 for a week and spent a total of 14 weeks on the country chart.
5. Slow Hand
From: Black & White (1981)
“Slow Hand” was originally recorded by the American vocal group The Pointer in May 1981. A year later, Conway Twitty released his version with minor lyric changes to accommodate a heterosexual male singer. His version topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for two weeks and was his last multi-week number-one song.
4. Hello Darlin
From: Hello Darlin (1970)
Conway Twitty wrote “Hello Darlin'” when he was still a rock and roll singer in the ’50s, but he chose not to record it until 1969 when he made the switch to country music. It’s another risky song for the singer, considering that the song has no chorus, and the title is only mentioned once in the very beginning of the song.
But it’s Conway Twitty after all, the song did not only hit No. 1, but it also made history after being played in space on the Apollo/Soyuz space mission. Twitty witnessed the U.S. and Soviet crews linked in space with the song playing in the background in Russian as “Privet Radost.”
3. You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly
From: Honky Tonk Heroes (1978)
“You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” is, in some way, a love song — a resenting love song, perhaps, but still a love song. The song quickly became a hit in the 70s, thanks to the musical chemistry and the lighthearted banter between Conway Twitty and fellow country legend Loretta Lynn.
The whole song is devoted to insulting and teasing each other. Lynn sings, “Conway, why in the devil don’t you gon’ and shave and put on a clean pair of pants?” as Twitty responds, “I wish you’d take them curlers out of your hair an’ go put on a little bit of makeup.” While both are accusing each other of being “the reason our kids are ugly,” the heart of this song is sweet.
2. That’s My Job
From: Borderline (1987)
Later in his career, Conway Twitty began recording songs a little bit differently than what his audience was used to hearing on the radio. In 1987, he took a gamble to tell a story song about a usual father-son relationship.
The sparse production and deep story of the song touched so many hearts who were lucky to have a father so caring and loving that they would call parenthood their favorite job. To this day, “That’s My Job” is still one of the most-requested and downloaded Father’s Day songs on country radio.
1. She’s Got A Single Thing In Mind
From: House on Old Lonesome Road (1989)
The year 1989 will forever be recognized as the year that artists such as Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Clint Black, and Garth Brooks each registered their first hits. But sometime that year was the fact that Conway Twitty was still singing as great as ever.
At the age of 55, Conway Twitty had kicked a longtime smoking habit and took vocal lessons to keep his range intact. All of that was on prominent display on this breathtaking hit from the summer of that year. That only proved that — more so than any veteran artist at the time — nobody was as great at the art of evolving career-wise than Conway Twitty.
Cry Baby Heart, Danny Boy, It’s Only Make Believe, After All the Good Is Gone are other songs by Conway Twitty that we love. It’s definitely a difficult task to pick just eight songs from a career like Conway Twitty’s.