7 Facts About Conway Twitty’s Life & Career

7 Facts About Conway Twitty’s Life & Career | Country Music Videos

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Learn A Few Fun Facts About Conway Twitty’s Life You May Have Never Known Before

Conway Twitty is one of the most beloved and successful country artists of all time. With hits such as “Hello Darlin'” and “Love to Lay You Down,” Twitty won over the hearts of country fans far and wide.

During his lifetime, Twitty generated countless number one hits, some being duets with his longtime singing partner, Loretta Lynn. He was never a member of the Grand Ole Opry, but he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is one of the greatest honors in country music.

When Twitty passed away in 1993, the country music community was devastated. Although they mourned the loss of a great talent, they also celebrated Twitty’s extraordinary life.

In memoriam to Conway Twitty
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Twitty’s life was nothing short of interesting, that’s for sure. In fact, there are a few things about the country legend you may not have known before!

These seven things are only the start…

1. His Real Name Wasn’t Conway Twitty

There’s no doubt “Conway Twitty” has more of a ring to it than “Harold Jenkins.” But believe it or not, Twitty’s real name was the latter.

Twitty was born in Mississippi on September 1, 1933 as Harold Lloyd Jenkins. He was named by his great uncle, who was a big fan of the silent film actor, Harold Lloyd.

When it came time for Twitty to select a stage name, he moved away from his birth name for something catchy. That’s how “Conway Twitty” was born. Hey, it worked!

2. He Had His Own Radio Show As A Kid

From early on in life, Twitty had a passion for music he couldn’t ignore. While other kids his age likely spent their Saturday mornings sleeping in, Twitty got up to host a radio show.

Twitty was only 12 when he hosted his own radio show on local station KFFA Radio, based out of Helena, Arkansas. After being taught to play guitar by his grandfather and a neighborhood blues singer, the radio show was the perfect outlet for Twitty to develop his talents.

3. He Was Almost A Baseball Star

While music was his first love in life, Twitty also loved baseball. He played the sport throughout his childhood and teen years, and caught the attention of a professional team.

During school, Twitty was scouted out by the Philadelphia Phillies, and received an offer to play for them. But he never joined the team. How come? Because after graduation he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

Twitty served in the Army during the Korean War. He continued to play music in a small band with other soldiers. Once he was discharged, Twitty put his baseball dreams aside to pursue music.

4. People Would Mistake His Voice For Elvis’

Although we know Twitty as a country star, he first got his start recording in other genres. After he heard Elvis Presley‘s song “Mystery Train,” Twitty started to write rock songs. He even went to the famous Sun Studios in Memphis to work on his sound.

Twitty experienced great success with his rockabilly tune “It’s Only Make Believe,” which was a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. But many people who listened to the song swore Presley was the one singing it.

“The King’s” voice sounded similar enough to Twitty’s that listeners figured the name “Conway Twitty” was just a pseudonym of his!

5. Conway Twitty Inspired The Creation Of A Broadway Character

You’ve likely heard of the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie before. But did you have any idea that one of the main characters was partially inspired by Twitty? Set in 1958, the musical debuted in 1960, and served as a form of satire about society at the time.

One main event referenced in the musical was when Elvis Presley left the country after he was drafted into the Army. This plot is carried out through the character Conrad Birdie, who is based on Presley and another singer who was popular at the time…Twitty. In fact, Birdie’s name is a play off of Twitty’s.

6. Some Country DJs Didn’t Want To Play His Songs

Although he sang pop and rock, Twitty’s heart was always in country music. That’s why he switched to recording it in 1965. We’d say it was a smart move, because he’s now regarded as a legend in the genre that he loved.

However, country DJs were initially hesitant about playing his songs. Reason being? Because he already had a reputation as a pop and rock star.

They took a chance on Twitty anyway, and it obviously worked. But when Twitty released his song “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” in 1973, some DJs refused to play it for being too risque. Even then, the song still became a #1 hit.

7. Conway Twitty Didn’t Like To Talk On The Stage

As you’ve likely noticed when you attend a concert, the artist will often address the crowd before each song. But this is something Twitty shied from early in his career, and it was quite unusual.

Not only did Twitty refrain from speaking on stage, but he also did not perform encores. He didn’t appear for interviews or television shows either.

This is something that his duet partner Loretta Lynn found odd. She told one book author his behavior on stage was strange. Lynn encouraged Twitty to try talking on stage, and he eventually had a change of heart.

By the end of the 1980s, Twitty broke out of his shell by making music videos. He even did a few interviews and television appearances tooo.

There’s so much more to the man behind some of country music’s greatest songs. Which of these facts about him surprised you the most?

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