Monday, November 19, 2007

Number 536 - Conway Twitty

Number 536

Conway Twitty

"Its Only Make Believe"

Genre:Rock n Roll
Pic by lizbraun (buy it!)
So, your in the 1950's and your name is Conway Twitty? Well, you wouldn't want to rock up to your first day at college with a name like that would you? So it would be quite surprising if you knew he changed his name to that, from Harold Jenkins? Ah the good ole 50's i tell you. So fess up ..... How many of you have had a pompadour hmmm? Last living person i knew who had a head of hair like that was the lead singer out of Dread Zepplin (and I'm sure that's just a stage act ~ i hope)
What a sezzy Pompadour not
I must admit i do like the music from this time period. It reminds me of, say, "Christine" the movie about a homicidal spiteful evil car (written by Stephen King, i would love to see Christine kill the VW "Herbie" take that Disney!) Also this music reminds me of the soundtrack "American Graffiti" and that album from 1973 was a huge influence to me back then, Platters, Crests, Del Shannon, Booker T, etc, to be honest, is just tremendous music. Its like a time capsule in a two LP format! Damn, i wish i still had a phonograph. OK that's me, I'm off to Ebay for a sniff ... maybe even a wig and leather jacket! Heyyyyyyy, Fonizie ... wasssssssup.
Conway Twitty 1958
When Conway Twitty died unexpectedly from an abdominal aneurysm just short of his 60th birthday in 1993, many of the testimonials and eulogies that followed noted that in country music circles he'd long been reverently known as "The best friend a song ever had." In part, it was a nod towards the deep-voiced singer's uncanny ability to reach, and then convey, the emotions at the heart of any composition, be it his own or another songwriter's. But it was also a nod to some stunning commercial facts: at the time of his passing, Twitty had racked up a remarkable forty #1 Country hits-a total that, over a decade later, was still standing as the all-time record. It's a daunting legacy, and an instructive one-testament to one artist's hard-fought belief in, and understanding of, himself, his music and his audience.
Lonely Blue Boy

Born in Friars Point, Mississippi and raised there and in Helena, Arkansas as Harold Jenkins (his stage name was appropriated from the towns of Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas), Conway Twitty had spent nearly ten years on the roller coaster ride of fame and fortune as a rock and roll and pop singer when, with his career appearing well on the down side of standstill, he was signed by producer Owen Bradley to the Nashville-based country division of Decca Records in 1965. Emerging from the Army after serving his country during the Korean War, Twitty had made his recording debut like many a southern singer in the mid-1950s-as a ducktail-coiffed, hip-shaking rockabilly cat inspired by and modelled after Elvis Presley. And, befitting a background in which popularity had come relatively easily-as a teen, he performed on local radio, and was enough of a standout high school athlete to be scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team-Twitty's notion of what it would take to be a star in the music business was as boldly brash as it was blissfully innocent.
Circa 70's
"I thought I'd be as big as Elvis in two or three weeks," he confessed years later. "I thought that was all it took-put a record out." As it turned out, after one false start (some 1956 recordings for Presley's alma mater, Sun, which went unreleased), and one fitful start (a few little heard 1957 singles for Mercury), Twitty joined MGM Records in 1958 and did become as big as Elvis-if only for two to three weeks. His feverish, Presley-channeling original "It's Only Make Believe" became a #1 pop hit that fall, and for a brief spell it made him something of a household name: he registered a handful of follow-up pop hits, appeared in several MGM-produced teen exploitation films, and it was his stage moniker that was parodied for the Elvis-like title character Conrad Birdie in the Broadway hit, Bye Bye Birdie.

01.09.33 to 05.06.93
By 1965, though, artists of Twitty's generation and background had all but disappeared from the pop charts. Let go by MGM, Twitty recorded a few unsuccessful singles for ABC before the aforementioned Bradley decided to take a chance on the faded rockabilly star-and primarly on the strength of the fact that Ray Price had recently scored a Top 10 country hit with a tune Twitty had written called "Walk Me To The Door." Success was not immediate: it took until 1968-just about a full ten years after "It's Only Make Believe"-for Conway Twitty to again claim a #1 slot on a music chart. But once he landed on the top branch of the country tree for the first time with the plaintive "Next In Line" (featuring one of the all-time great barroom-themed opening lines: "See her there at the table/Watch her tear at the label/From the bottle that she just drank dry"), Twitty stayed just about glued to that lofty perch, as he went on to become one of the genre's most popular and beloved performers for the remainder of his life. His influence cannot be underestimated, either: While he started out, as many an Elvis follower, by moving from the country music he grew up with to the blues-infused rockabilly pioneered by Presley in Memphis, Twitty's triumphant return to country made him, in turn, a pioneer to a significant number of aging rockabilly-ers-Elvis included-who were able to resurrect their careers as country artists. ~ []
For Dread Zeppelin see Number 935
For Crests see Number 540

For Del Shannon see Number 813
For Elvis Presley see Number 840
Rolling Stone have no view on Conway Twitty
Artist Fact File
Name:Conway Twitty................Related to³:No-one
Yrs Active:1955 to
Best Song¹:Its Only Make Believe..#1fan:none
Best Album²:Linda on my Mind......Grammy Awards:0
Albums Sold:50 Million +..........Next best thing:George Jones
¹Number of downloads WINMX ²Artistdirect choice ³Associated acts or collaborations
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (You know our view on Country music) and the Album ranked at Number (It just aint Rock n Roll)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 74.2 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
By The Year 1955 to 2005:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you for real????????????????

11:40 pm  
Blogger crowbarred said...

Ha! yessss and i think its a great song :p

9:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a pompadour now...

8:48 am  
Blogger crowbarred said...

really? pics or it didn't happen!

9:57 pm  

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