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Music / Conway Twitty

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Harold Lloyd Jenkins (September 1, 1933 – June 5, 1993) was a prolific American Country Music singer. He first recorded for Mercury in the 1950s. His first hit was "It's Only Make Believe", a major pop hit. After Ray Price cut one of his songs, Twitty shifted gears and went country in the sixties. From then until his 1993 death, he was a constant presence on the charts, both as a solo artist and as a recurring duet partner with Loretta Lynn.

In his career, Twitty sent forty singles to number one on the Hot Country Songs charts, a record that stood until 2006 when George Strait broke it.


Tropes present:

  • Age-Progression Song: "That's My Job." Starts with the singer as a young child, then a teenager/young adult trying to start his music career, then finally a grown man eulogizing his father.
  • Ballistic Discount: The song "Saturday Night Special" features a variation of this. The narrator buys a pistol from a pawn shop with the intention of using it to kill himself presumably after something happened to his wife, but as he is about to leave, he witnesses the shop's greedy dealer attempt to take advantage of a desperate woman attempting to hock her wedding ring. He then asks the dealer what his life is worth and gets the woman more than a fair price and himself potentially a new wife.
  • Common Meter: "Tight Fittin' Jeans".
  • Disappeared Dad: The 1976 Tearjerker "The Games That Daddies Play," about a 7-year-old boy whose father abandoned him and his mother six years earlier. The boy's longing for a father figure becomes evident in the first two verses, where he asks his mother for permission to go on a camping trip with a friend and his father, wherein he'd engage in hiking, fishing and having man-to-man talks. The mother tearfully informs her son that, indeed, his birth father had left years ago and isn't coming back; whether that means she gave her son is allowed to go camping is never explicitly stated and thus is left to the imagination of the listener.
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  • Dual-Meaning Chorus: "That's My Job": his dad's job to protect him; his dad's job to support him; his job to eulogize his dad.
  • Genre Shift: His jump from rock to country in the 1960s.
  • I Will Wait for You: Present in "Don't Cry Joni".
  • Intercourse with You: Most of his 1970s material was made of this trope, but "I'd Love to Lay You Down" is a pretty strong example.
    • "You've Never Been This Far Before" is obviously about preparing to make love to a virgin.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He picked his stage name by spotting Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas on a road map.
  • Melancholy Moon: "I Don't Know a Thing About Love" features a "Man in the Moon" who's just as melancholy as the observer, insisting he doesn't really have any answers to anyone's questions.
  • Parental Love Song: "That's My Job" between the narrator and his father. The first two sections are about the singer's father reassuring him after the singer has a nightmare of his dad dying as a small child, followed by the father supporting the singer's dreams of go out west to start his music career despite the two fighting constantly during the singer's teenage years. The final section of the song is the singer eulogizing his late father.
  • Posthumous Collaboration: He was subject to a strange one by singer Anita Cochran in 2004. She and producer Jim Ed Norman spliced his voice together from existing recordings to create a "duet" vocal on "I Wanna Hear a Cheatin' Song".
    • His "appearances" on Family Guy as a running joke. However, in one episode, where Peter and his friends meet God, God says to them, "Oh, by the way, Conway Twitty says, 'Cut it out. Just write a joke.'" From then on, no Twitty songs were ever used.
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Tight Fittin' Jeans".
  • The Man in the Moon: Referenced in "I Don't Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)":
    I talked to the man in the moon
    I said, "Sir, is she coming back soon?"
    He smiled and he stated
    "Son, I'm over-rated
    I've had to much credit in those old love tunes
    I don't know a thing about love
    I just kind of hang here above
    I just watch from the sky
    Will love grow or will it die
    I don't know a thing about love"
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Inverted on "I'd Love to Lay You Down", which repeats the chorus in progressively lower keys at the end.
  • With Lyrics: In 1972, he wrote lyrics to Floyd Cramer's instrumental piano piece "Last Date" and had a #1 hit with the now-titled "Lost Her Love on Our Last Date". Ten years later, Emmylou Harris did likewise with a gender-flipped version of Twitty's lyrics.