Conway Twitty

Induction Year: 1993

Birth Name: Harold Lloyd Jenkins

Birth Date: 09-01-1933

Place of Birth: Friars Point, Mississippi

Death Date: 06-05-1993

Place of Death: Springfield, Missouri

Often billed as "The best friend a song ever had," Conway Twitty was highly regarded for his ability to transform other writers' words and melodies into hit records. His success as a sensual stylist sometimes overshadowed his own skills as a writer, but he was more than a good friend to others' songs: He was also a gifted creator who penned 11 of his 40 #1 Billboard country hits.

The Mississippi kid born Harold Jenkins turned out to be a good ballplayer whose professional baseball aspirations were waylaid when he was drafted into the military during the Korean War. Once discharged, he headed to Memphis' Sun Records in hopes of becoming an Elvis Presley-style rockabilly artist, but his Sun recordings were not released. However, he did land a cut with Sun artist Roy Orbison, who recorded his "Rock House." In 1957, he changed his name to Conway Twitty, after the towns of Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas. Subsequently, he scored 14 hits on the pop charts between 1957 and 1962, including the million-selling pop record "It's Only Make Believe." But in the early 1960s he sought a place for himself in the country music world that he'd come to love as a kid.

Harlan Howard brought Twitty's "Walk Me to the Door" to Ray Price, and Price's version became a Top 10 country hit in 1963. Twitty's status as a former rock star invited skepticism from country labels and disc jockeys, but he signed with Decca as a country recording artist in 1965 and landed his first country hit in 1966. He penned his own signature hit, "Hello Darlin'," a four-week #1 single that became the most-played country song of 1970 and that served as his opening number in concert throughout the rest of his life.

For 1972's "(Lost Her Love) On Our Last Date," Twitty added lyrics to Floyd Cramer's hit instrumental of 1960 and wound up with another chart topper. Many of Twitty's original songs explored infidelity, guilt and the connections between the two, and he often traded on unabashed sexuality, as with "You've Never Been This Far Before," "I Can't Believe She Gives It All to Me" and "I've Already Loved You in My Mind."

He died suddenly from a ruptured stomach aneurysm in 1993 and was inducted posthumously into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. He received a total of 51 performance awards from BMI, SESAC and ASCAP.

"(Lost Her Love) On Our Last Date"

(written with Floyd Cramer)

Conway Twitty1972 #1 country, #112 pop
Emmylou Harris1982 #1 country

"After All the Good Is Gone"

Conway Twitty1976 #1 country

"As Soon As I Hang Up the Phone"

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn1974 #1 country

"Baby's Gone"

(written with Billy Parks)

Conway Twitty1973 #2 country

"Don't Cry Joni"

Conway Twitty with Joni Lee1975 #4 country, #63 pop

"Games That Daddies Play"

Conway Twitty1976 #1 country

"Hello Darlin'"

Conway Twitty1970 #1 country, #60 pop

"I Can't Believe She Gives It All to Me"

Conway Twitty1976 #1 country

"I Can't See Me Without You"

Conway Twitty1971 #4 country

"I'm Not Through Loving You Yet"

(written with L. E. White)

Conway Twitty1974 #3 country

"I've Already Loved You in My Mind"

Conway Twitty1977 #1 country

"It's Only Make Believe"

(written with Jack Nance)

Conway Twitty1958 #1 pop
Connie Francis1959 
Billy Fury1964 
The Hollies1964 
Glen Campbell1970 #3 country, #10 pop
Hank Locklin1970 
Lynn Anderson1970 
Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty1971 
Robert Gordon1979 #99 country
Wanda Jackson1982 
Ronnie McDowell1988 #8 country
Collin Raye2005 
Clay Aiken2010 

"Linda on My Mind"

Conway Twitty1975 #1 country, #61 pop

"Play, Guitar Play"

Conway Twitty1977 #1 country

"Rock House"

(written with Sam Phillips)

Roy Orbison1956 
Brian Setzer2005 
Big Daddy & Rockin' Combo2008 

"The Letter"

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn1976 #3 country

"To See My Angel Cry"

(written with Charles Haney, L. E. White)

Conway Twitty1969 #8 country

"Touch the Hand"

(written with Ronald Robert Peterson)

Conway Twitty1975 #1 country

"Walk Me to the Door"

Ray Price1963 #7 country

"You've Never Been This Far Before"

Conway Twitty1973 #1 country

Conway Twitty

Induction Year: 1993