Provided Photo / Webster Public Relations
Even those who aren’t devoted country fans could likely name one or two of Conway Twitty‘s songs. With 55 number one hits and countless other Top 10 singles, Twitty was one of the most influential artists of his time.
That influence continues today, as many modern artists cite Twitty as a source of inspiration. Country fans still carry a great deal of respect for Twitty as well, and pass his music on to new generations.
While Twitty’s music has always been readily available, there were some lost recordings that few people knew anything about. That is, until now.
On Monday (September 18), Country Rewind Records announced via a press release that some previously unheard Twitty recordings will appear in a new CD collection. The collection, called Timeless, will be available at select retailers, Amazon, and all major digital outlets.
Tom Gramuglia of Country Rewind Records explains how these recordings came to be, and why they’ve only been heard by such a small number of people. Back in the 1970s, Twitty was one of several major country stars who recorded a series of songs as part of a United States recruitment program. Other artists who participated in this program included Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings.
The 15-minute performances that these artists recorded would be distributed to over 2,000 radio stations around the world. It was the intention to release the recordings on a commercial scale, but that never happened:
“These recordings were long forgotten and [there were] few people who knew of their existence,” said Gramuglia. “They’ve never before been made commercially available to the public and I truly felt like this music needed to be shared with long-time traditional fans, and heard by our younger generation of Millennials who have a flavor and inkling for country music recording artists that made American country music great.”
While the songs that appear on Timeless are familiar, such as “Hello Darlin'” and “Honky Tonk Man,” fans will get the chance to hear Twitty sing them like they never have before. The tracks contain little imperfections, because the session in which they were recorded was far from normal.
Twitty’s daughter, Joni Ryles, explains the process that went into the creation of the songs on Timeless.
“It wasn’t like a typical session where everything was perfected,” Ryles said. “But, these songs are an incredible gift, and Daddy was sounding as incredible as he ever did.”
After years spent in hiding, these treasured Twitty tracks are finally coming to light. Ryles can’t contain her happiness over all of it:
“When I heard it, I was blown away. I couldn’t be prouder of Dad’s performance, and [his band] the Twitty Birds did such a great job. Every Conway Twitty fan needs to hear this. My family could not be more pleased to celebrate his life in music with this compilation of treasures.”
This isn’t just a collection that every fan of Twitty’s should listen to. It’s a collection every single country fan should own. Just look at the track listing below and you’ll understand exactly what we mean:
1. (Lost Her Love) On Our Last Date
2. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)
3. Hello Darlin’
4. How Much More Can She Stand
5. Working Girl
6. I Can’t See Me Without You
7. I Love You More Today
8. Crazy Arms
9. 15 Years Ago
10. Honky Tonk Man
11. The Image Of Me
12. If You Were Mine To Lose
13. Proud Mary
14. Next In Line
If you’d like to pre-order a copy of Timeless, you can do so by clicking here. The album makes its debut on October 6, so until then, enjoy one of Twitty’s old performances of his signature song, “Hello Darlin’.”