Conway Twitty

From ArticleWorld

Harold Lloyd Jenkins, better known as the country music artist Conway Twitty, was one of the most successful and influential artists during the 20th century. Twitty has had more singles (55) reach No.1 on national country charts than any other country music singer. Twitty was also able to journey outside of country and found success in Pop music, R&B, and Rock and Roll.

Twitty was born on September 1, 1933 in a small town in Mississippi. He moved to Arkansas and started his first band, the "Phillips Country Ramblers." After high school Twitty was recruited to play baseball in Philadelphia, but chose to join the Army instead.

Twitty didn’t stay in the Army very long, and after his discharge he pursued his dream of a music career. He started out writing rock ‘n’ roll songs and worked with artists like Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. In 1957, he decided it was time for a name change. He looked at a map and chose Conway after a small town in Arkansas, and Twitty for Texas. Twitty joined MGM records and became an overnight success when a DJ in Ohio had flipped his demo over and played the B-side of his single, "It’s Only Make Believe." He recorded other rocks songs such as "Lonely Blue Boy" and "Danny Boy."

Twitty had always thought about and wanted to record country music and when he started in 1965, many DJ’s refused to play his albums because of his fame as a rock ‘n’ roll singer. He finally was able to get some air time with his first No.1 country song, "Next In Line." Then he released his signature song; the song that sent crowds going wild after just the first two words: "Hello Darlin."

He began recording duets with Loretta Lynn in 1971 and found great success with "After the Fire Is Gone," "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," and "Feelins."

Conway Twitty died on June 5, 1993 from an abdominal aneurysm. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. Today, fans often call Twitty, "The Best Friend a Song Ever Had."