Rock ‘n roll singer Conway Twitty’s musical career, he sets himself apart from other artists with his signature style. He makes iconic performances on television. And sings a few duets with the legendary Loretta Lynn and thinks of them as something of a sex symbol.
He considers one of the greatest musical artists of all time. And shined as a singer, songwriter, recording artist, producer, and all-around entertainer. Many people don’t know this, but he’s a pretty decent baseball player – and at one point considering going pro.
Over the time in the spotlight, Twitty cut 55 number 1 singles. He sells countless concerts, wins numerous awards, and lives a life without a question one of a kind.
He was a man who worked his tail off to achieve fame and fortune. By respecting the people that were in his orbit, he likewise received much of it himself. By sticking to his values and principles while never giving up on his dreams, Twitty takes into prosperity.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Twitty’s story is one that does not include elements of self-destruction and inner turmoil. He wasn’t a heavy drinker, nor did he ever have a drug problem. His love for his family and the devotion of his loyal fans help him climb the ladder to victory.
Sadly, Conway Twitty departed this world sooner than many of us expected. He is 59 years old when he dies of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at Co South Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, on June 5, 1993.
Following his death, Twitty’s last studio album, Final Touches, releases posthumously in August of 1993. Twitty lays to rest at Summer Memorial Gardens cemetery in Gallatin, Tennessee.
So disappointing to lose a star to death in an untimely way, it’s more distressing that their death can prevent. Join Facts Verse as we ask the question that begs answers, can Conway Twitty’s death avoid?
It’s come to light that in 1981, Twitty’s accident results in a permanent change in his personality. Could this change possibly have been a warning sign of things to come? Is there anything that doctors can do to saved Conway Twitty from meeting the fate that ultimately ends his life? Keep watching to find out.
First, let’s reflect on the life of someone who believes in the greatest country artists in the history of music.
Destined For Greatness
Conway Twitty’s destiny seems seeded in the stars from an early age. As a young boy, it was already clear that something was very special about Conway. Actually, back then he was still going by his birth name Harold Lloyd Jenkins, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll just stick with his stage name.
Anyway, he was born on the first of September 1933, in Friars Point, Mississippi. His Great uncle gave him the name Harold Lloyd after one of his favorite film stars.
Throughout his childhood, Twitty is familiar with having a passion for helping others in need around him. He seemed to shine whenever he could be of service to others. At the age of four, this gentle and humble boy receives his first guitar and begins learning how to play. Almost immediately, he displayed a natural talent for the instrument that was uncanny.
He and his family relocate to Helena, Arkansas, when he’s 10, Conway forms his first band, The Phillips Country Ramblers.
His mother was the primary breadwinner of the family, but his father was still a hard worker and held a job as a riverboat pilot in Mississippi.
At a young age, Twitty got a job at a carhop to help support his siblings. He used the money that he earned to purchase shoes and clothing that they desperately needed. Soon enough, Twitty landed a gig working at a local radio station on Saturday mornings.
Around this time, he was also quite passionate about the game of baseball and saw himself potentially making a career out of the sport. In fact, he was once even offered an opportunity to play with the Phillies shortly after finishing up high school.
As much as he would have probably liked to have played pro ball for a living, fate had other plans for young Twitty.
After being drafted into the US Army, Conway was stationed in Japan. Even so, he wasn’t quite ready to give up on his sports dreams, so he decided to join the local Army Baseball team.
While still in the Army, Twitty formed yet another band called the Cimmarons, who played at various local clubs. In the mid-50s, Twitty discharges from the Army. Just like Elvis Presley, who was also an Army vet, Twitty suddenly found himself quite popular as a civilian. But the king’s influence didn’t stop there. In fact, after hearing one of Presley’s songs, Conway even started writing Rock ‘N Roll songs.
He discovers his true passion in life, Twitty moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to pursue a career in music. From then on out, his life’s trajectory pointed in only one direction, up.
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And don’t go anywhere. Stay tuned to learn about the accident that Conway Twitty’s friends and family say totally changed his personality.
Twitty’s Meteoric Rise To Fame
While he was recording at Sun Studios, Twitty penned a song that would ultimately land him a prestigious recording contract with MGM. At that time, he was working with artists like Elvis, Carl Perking, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
This was also when he chose his stage name – a combo of two city names, Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas. As the story goes, he chose the name by pointing at two random spots on the map and essentially just rolling with it.
In 1958, Twitty recorded his first number 1 US single, ‘It’s Only Make Believe’. The single additionally topped the charts in 22 other countries, selling an estimated 8 million records. From this point on, Twitty’s popularity skyrocketed.
Twitty went on to enjoy rock ‘n roll success with songs like Danny Boy and Lonely Blue Boy,
He wants to cut a country album, Twitty did just that in 1965. At first, some country music station DJs refuse to play his country album, because he is a rock ‘n roller. Regardless, his first country hit, ‘The Image of Me’ blew up the charts in July of 1968. After that, it was off to the races.
After charting several more country singles, Twitty recorded the biggest country hit of his career ‘Hello Darlin’ in 1970. The following year, he released his first of many duets with Loretta Lynn. That first collab track ‘After The Fire Is Gone’ is so successful that the two got to work at producing more together. Over the next couple of years, Conway and Loretta would pen such songs as Louisana Woman Mississippi Man, Lead Me On, Feelin’s, and I can’t Love You Enough, among many others. To this day, their collaboration considers being one of the greatest in the history of country music.
In 1973, Twitty released the song You’ve Never Been This Far Before which stayed at number 1 on the country charts for three weeks. In 1978, he put out the song The Grandest Lady of Them All, a track that paid homage to the Grand Ole Opry. While the track peaked at number 16, it fell well below expectations. This marked the first time since ’67 that one of his songs failed to reach the top ten. The reason for this, however, is pretty cut and dry. Some stations simply didn’t want to play a song that was promoting property owned by a competitor.
During the late 70s, Twitty reinvented his image, swapping his pompadour out for the curlier hairstyle that he would rock for the remainder of his life. He also transitioned to a more pop-country sound around this time as well.
The next 23 singles he put out all broke the top 10, with 13 of those peaking at number 1. By 1990, Twitty had a total of 55 number 1 hits.
The Accident, Declining Health, and Death
In 1981, Twitty was getting out of his tour bus when he slipped on the steps, fell, and hit his head, knocking himself out in the process. He finds by a member of his tour band, John Hughey, a talented steel guitar player.
Many people close to Twitty, including his friends and family said that Twitty underwent a significant personality change after this incident.
According to physicians, a traumatic head injury has the ability to cause a person to lose a degree of control over their emotional expressions. This somewhat rare condition is known as emotional lability, and it can alter the way that a person reacts to specific situations. From a third party perspective, this would look like someone was going through rather dramatic personality changes. While it’s never been confirmed that Conway Twitty was a sufferer from this ailment, it’s a strong possibility that he was.
That being said, his head injury likely didn’t lead to the condition that eventually claimed his life. So, even if he were to have been diagnosed with this condition, it’s unlikely that it would have made a significant – or even minor – impact on his lifespan,
On June 4, 1993, Conway Twitty suddenly fell ill while playing a show at the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Shortly after that, he collapsed while in his tour bus and had to be rushed to the hospital.
After running some tests, he was rushed into surgery, but sadly he didn’t live to see another day. Twitty died after suffering an abdominal aortic aneurysm in the early morning hours of June 5, 1993, at Cox South Hospital in Springfield. He was only 59.
Loretta Lynn, Twitty’s longtime duet partner, was able to briefly see Twitty as he was being admitted to the hospital. While she wasn’t able to properly say goodbye to him, as she had no idea at the time of what he was dealing with health-wise, at least she got to see her old friend one last time before he left this world.
What happened to Conway Twitty was tragic, but at least he got to do the things he loved and put out a ton of great tunes in the relatively short time that he was with us. Many people who live two or three decades longer than he did don’t even come close to accomplishing as much as Conway did in the 59 years he walked the Earth.
What is your favorite Conway Twitty song? And were you aware that he wrote and recorded a staggering 55 number 1 hit singles throughout his career? Let us know in the comments.
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