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Conway Twitty Biography


Home > Music > T > Twitty, Conway > Biography


Birth Name: Harold Lloyd Jenkins
Born: 1933/09/01
Birth Place: Friars Point, Mississippi (born), Helena, Arkansas (raised)
Died: 1993/06/05
Years Active: 1955-1993
Genres: Country, Rock And Roll


Conway Twitty (September 1, 1933–June 5, 1993), born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was one of the United States' most successful country music artists of the 20th century. He also enjoyed success in early rock and roll, R&B, and pop music.

He held the record for the most number one singles of any act with 55 No. 1 Billboard country hits until George Strait broke the record in 2006. From 1971–76, Twitty received a string of Country Music Association awards for duets with Loretta Lynn. A former member of the Grand Ole Opry, he was inducted into both the Country Music and the Rockabilly Halls of Fame.

Twitty's fortunes changed in 1958, while he was with MGM Records, under the name Conrad. An Ohio radio station did not play "I'll Try", an MGM single that went nowhere in terms of sales, radio play, and jukebox play; instead playing the B side, "It's Only Make Believe", a song written between sets by Twitty and drummer Jack Nance when they were in Hamilton, Ontario playing at the Flamingo Lounge.

The record took nearly one year to reach and stay at the top spot on the Billboard pop music charts in the U.S., as well as No. 1 in 21 other countries. It became the first of nine Top 40 hits for Twitty. Twitty would go on to enjoy rock and roll success with songs including "Danny Boy" (pop No. 10) and "Lonely Blue Boy" (pop No. 6).

Twitty always wanted to record country music and—beginning in 1965—he did just that. His first few country albums were met with some country DJs refusing to play them because he was known as a rock-n-roll singer. However, he finally broke free with his first top five country hit, "The Image Of Me", in July 1968, ensued by his first number one country song, "Next In Line", in November 1968. Few of his singles beginning in 1968 ranked below the top 5.

In 1970, Twitty recorded and released his biggest hit ever, "Hello Darlin'" (which spent four weeks at the top of the country chart).

In 1971 he released his first hit duet with Loretta Lynn, "After the Fire Is Gone". It was a success, and many more followed, including "Lead Me On" (1971), "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" (1973), "As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone" (1974), "Feelins'" (1975), "I Still Believe In Waltzes", "I Can't Love You Enough" and many others. Together, Conway and Loretta (as they were known in their act), won four consecutive Country Music Association awards for vocal duo (1972–75) and a host of other duo and duet awards from other organizations throughout the 1970s.

In 1973, Twitty released "You've Never Been This Far Before", which was not only No. 1 in country for three weeks that September but also reached No. 22 on the pop charts. Some disc jockeys refused to play the song because of its suggestive lyrics. In 1985, going by all weekly music trade charts, the song "Don't Call Him a Cowboy" became the 50th single of his career to achieve a No. 1 ranking.

He would have five more through 1990, giving him a total of 55 number 1 hits. In 1993, shortly before he died, he recorded a new album, “Final Touches.”