I remember seeing Conway Twitty (1933-1993) on the TV from back when I was a kid, with his scary open-collar shirts, rhinestones and '70s bling, and thought those performances had given me an understanding of the cheesier side of the countrypolitan scene. It wasn't until decades later that I really sat down and delved into Twitty's work, and discovered just how much richness, depth and soul was there. Twitty started his career as a late-1950s teen-pop/rock balladeer, building his reputation on the smash hit, "Make Believe"; he stayed in the teen scene for several years, but in the '60s switched to singing Nashville-style weepers... And man, was he good! His work from the early 1970s is particularly powerful, although his dozens of duets with Loretta Lynn are also the stuff of legend. Before he died, Twitty racked up a total of fifty-five Number One hits -- the all-time Country record until it was matched by George Strait in 2006. Twitty's daughter, Joni Lee, also recorded some stuff in the 'Seventies, but never quite summoned the same kind of mojo as her old man. Anyway, if you ever turned your nose up at those old Conway albums, you might want to give 'em another chance... There's some mighty fine music there!

Discography - Best-Ofs

Conway Twitty "20 Classics" (Varese Sarabande, 2001)
Recommended! Although these are actually early '80s re-recordings of songs Conway had hits with years earlier, they're still quite nice. The smooth rumble is still intact and the musical backing is understated and very much in keeping with the sensuous feel of the old Decca & MCA originals. Really, no one could sing a love ballad the same way as Twitty did, and though you might be prepared to feel gypped by this re-make package, it's really quite good.

Conway Twitty "Greatest Hits, v.3" (MCA, 1990)
These late '80s recordings, while chart hits, were close to the nadir of Conway's career... Overly glossy production, and fairly weak vocals. A devoted fan might enjoy these slick, synthy ballads, but honestly, nothing on here holds a candle to his old stuff.

Conway Twitty "The Gospel Spirit" (MCA/Geffen, 1994)
A reissue of Twitty's 1973 album, Clinging To A Saving Hand. Amazingly enough, this was Twitty's one and only gospel record, and it's pretty groovy if you like Christian country music. It's also available in a shorter version (ten songs instead of eleven) on a CD called Who Will Pray For Me. One additional song, "Steal Away," is included only on this version.

Conway Twitty "Conway Twitty Sings/Look Into My Teardrops" (Decca, 1966/1967)

Conway Twitty "Conway Twitty Country/Here's Conway Twitty" (Decca, 1966/1968)

Conway Twitty "Next In Line/Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie" (Decca, 1968/1969)

Conway Twitty "I Love You More Today/To See My Angel Cry" (Decca, 1969/1070)

Discography - Albums

Conway Twitty "...Sings" (MGM, 1958)

Conway Twitty "Saturday Night" (MGM, 1959) (LP)

Conway Twitty "A Rock And Roll Story" (MGM, 1960) (LP)

Conway Twitty "The Conway Twitty Touch" (MGM, 1961) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Portrait Of A Fool" (MGM, 1962) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Hit The Road" (MGM, 1964) (LP)

Conway Twitty "...Sings" (Decca, 1966)

Conway Twitty "Look Into My Teardrops" (Decca, 1967)

Conway Twitty "Conway Twitty Country" (Decca, 1966)

Conway Twitty "Here's Conway Twitty & His Lonely Blue Boys" (Decca, 1968)

Conway Twitty "Next In Line" (Decca, 1968)

Conway Twitty "Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie" (Decca, 1969)

Conway Twitty "I Love You More Today" (Decca, 1969)

Conway Twitty "To See My Angel Cry" (Decca, 1970)

Conway Twitty "Hello Darlin' " (Decca, 1970)

Conway Twitty "Fifteen Years Ago" (Decca, 1970) (LP)

Conway Twitty "How Much More Can She Stand" (Decca, 1971) (LP)

Conway Twitty "I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving" (Decca, 1971) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "We Only Make Believe" (Decca, 1971) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Lead Me On" (Decca, 1972) (LP)

Conway Twitty "...Sings The Blues" (MGM, 1972) (LP)

Conway Twitty "I Can't See Me Without You" (Decca, 1972) (LP)

Conway Twitty "I Can't Stop Loving You" (Decca, 1972) (LP)

Conway Twitty "She Needs Someone To Hold Her" (MCA, 1973) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Clinging To A Saving Hand/Steal Away" (MCA, 1973)
Amazingly enough, this was Twitty's one and only country gospel record, and it has kind of a funny history. It came out in May of '73 and almost immediately was repackaged as a 10-song LP the same year, but with one song -- "Steal Away" -- omitted. My guess is that the switch from an 11-song to a 10-song playlist enabled the folks at MCA to reclassify it as a budget-line record, and sell it in more downscale venues -- truck-stops, drug stores, that kind of thing. Anyway, it's a great record if you like Christian country music, and a rare chance to hear that '70s swinger, Conway Twitty, singing religious material. The full-length, eleven-song, album was reissued on CD as The Gospel Spirit (which is what I've linked to here...) The shorter, 10-song version also came out on CD, and is included below.

Conway Twitty "Who Will Pray For Me?" (MCA, 1973)

Conway Twitty "You've Never Been This Far Before" (MCA, 1973) (LP)
One of Conway's biggest records -- a #1 chart-topping, Gold seller, with a huge hit in the somewhat scandalous title track, a cheatin' song galore...

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" (MCA, 1973) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Honky Tonk Angel" (MCA, 1974) (LP)

Conway Twitty "I'm Not Through Loving You Yet" (MCA, 1974) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Country Partners" (MCA, 1974) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Linda On My Mind" (MCA, 1975) (LP)

Conway Twitty "The High Priest Of Country Music" (MCA, 1975) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Twitty" (MCA, 1975)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Feelin's" (MCA, 1975) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Now And Then" (MCA, 1976) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "United Talent" (MCA, 1976)

Conway Twitty "Play, Guitar Play" (MCA, 1977) (LP)

Conway Twitty "I've Already Loved You In My Mind" (MCA, 1977) (LP) B000RWE0B6

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Dynamic Duo" (MCA, 1977) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Georgia Keeps Pulling On My Ring" (MCA, 1978) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Conway" (MCA, 1978) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Honky Tonk Heroes" (MCA, 1978) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Country Rock" (MCA, 1979)

Conway Twitty "Cross Winds" (MCA, 1979) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Heart And Soul" (MCA, 1980) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Rest Your Love On Me" (MCA, 1980) (LP)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Diamond Duet" (MCA, 1980) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Mr. T" (MCA, 1981) (LP)
This album featured two #1 singles, "Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night" and "Tight Fittin' Jeans." It was reissued in 1994 under the title Red Neckin' Love Makin' Night.

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Two's A Party" (MCA, 1981)

Conway Twitty "Southern Comfort" (Elektra, 1982)

Conway Twitty "Dream Maker" (Elektra, 1982) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Lost In The Feeling" (Warner, 1983)

Conway Twitty "Merry Twismas" (Warner, 1983) (LP)

Conway Twitty "By Heart" (Warner, 1984) (LP + MP3)

Conway Twitty "Don't Call Him A Cowboy" (Warner, 1985)

Conway Twitty "Chasin' Rainbows" (Warner, 1985) (LP)

Conway Twitty "A Night With Conway Twitty" (MCA, 1986) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Fallin' For You For Years" (Warner, 1986) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Borderline" (Warner, 1987)

Conway Twitty "Still In Your Dreams" (MCA, 1988)

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn "Making Believe" (MCA, 1988)

Conway Twitty "House On Old Lonesome Road" (MCA, 1989) (LP)

Conway Twitty "Crazy In Love" (MCA, 1990)

Conway Twitty "Even Now" (MCA, 1991)

Conway Twitty "Final Touches" (MCA, 1993)

Conway Twitty "Sings Songs Of Love" (MCA, 1995)

Conway Twitty "A Twismas Story" (Conway Twitty, 2007)


Hick Music Index

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