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Conway Twitty, Chart-Topper

Published: 9/1/2012

Today would have been Conway Twitty's 79th birthday. When I decided to write about the country music star with the glorious hair, I was thinking I wanted to feature his songs that went to No. 1… but there were fifty-five of them.
 

 Country singer Conway Twitty performs in this Aug. 19, 1985, file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Country singer Conway Twitty performs in this Aug. 19, 1985, file photo. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

 

 

Twitty, in fact, held the record for most No. 1 singles of any artist – the record was his for decades until George Strait broke it in 2006. Now, I wouldn't mind hearing every one of those 55 No. 1 singles, and I know plenty of our readers would enjoy it too, but I've got a deadline! So I'm going to have to narrow it down to a few of the very best. I'll start with his first No. 1…

"Next in Line" was Twitty's first country No. 1, but even before that, he hit the top of the pop charts with "It's Only Make Believe." Twitty would later reprise the song in a duet with Loretta Lynn, but he would never again have a No. 1 pop hit – he strictly topped the country charts for the rest of his career.
 

 

 

 

 

OK, now how about that first hit to dominate the country chart? "Next in Line" was the beginning of a long string of massive hits for Twitty… and while "It's Only Make Believe" was poppy and doo-woppy, not too country, there's no question that "Next in Line" twangs with the best of them.
 

 

 

 

 

Twitty's signature song, "Hello Darlin'," was not just a No. 1 hit on the country chart – it was named the No. 1 country song of the year in 1970. It became the song with which he opened his concerts.
 

 

 

 

 

In 1971, Twitty recorded the first of a series of duets with Loretta Lynn. They were some of his best-loved songs, and – not too surprisingly – a generous handful of them rose to #1. The first was "After the Fire is Gone."
 

 

 

 

 

Twitty last topped the Billboard charts in 1986, with his single "Desperado Love." It was almost 30 years after his first No. 1 single – and the dozens of chart-toppers in between are testament to Conway Twitty's brilliant career.
 

 

 

 

 

Written by Linnea Crowther
 

 

 

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