NUMBER 1 HITS–CONWAY TWITTY–“IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE”

Hello,  “IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE” is the only #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in the career of the “rock star”, Conway Twitty.  Born Harold Jenkins on September 1, 1933 in Friars Point, Mississippi and raised in Helena, Arkansas.  “It’s Only Make Believe” was written by Conway and Jack Nance.  The songs lyrics tell the thoughts and feelings of a man who’s in love with a woman who doesn’t seem to feel the same way about him.

Conway Twitty struck a nerve with the record buying public as his classic hit made its chart debut on September 15, 1958.  “It’s Only Make Believe” on the MGM Records label was a huge hit in the USA, reaching #1 on November 10, 1958 for 1 week, after the 1 week stay at #1 Conway dropped out of the top spot, but returned on November 24, 1958 for 1 more week at #1.  The record remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 21 weeks.  On the other side of the pond, in the UK, Conway Twitty was also #1 on the UK Singles Chart.  He reached #1 on December 19, 1958 and held the #1 spot for 1 week.

The “B” side of “It’s Only Make Believe” is “I’LL TRY” a good song on its own. I’ll Try was initially the “A” side of the single, it seemed to be going nowhere when a DJ flipped the record over and began playing “It’s Only Make Believe”…the rest is history.  Conway’s follow-up record “THE STORY OF MY LOVE” entered the Hot 100 in January of 1959.  It did well, charting at #28 and staying on the Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

Conway would have 2 more Top 10 single records in 1959.  In September “DANNY BOY”, done in a rock and roll version began its climb up the chart and reached #10.  “Danny Boy” had a run of 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.  On December 28, 1959 Conway’s last pop Top 10 hit made its chart debut.  “LONELY BLUE BOY” became his second biggest pop hit, as it reached #6.  In his pop music career he would chart 14 Top 100 hits.

“It’s Only Make Believe” is not only a #1 record and a million seller, it is a rock and roll classic.  It’s a song that continues to be played on oldies stations all over the country.  It has been a hit for Glenn Campbell in 1970, for Ronnie McDowell it became a #8 country hit in 1988 with Conway doing a guest vocal on the record.  Conway Twitty would turn to country music in 1965 and between 1968 and 1986 he charted an amazing 40, #1 country hits.  The one thing I remember about seeing him perform is that he never forgot what got him to where he was, “his fans”……….he opened each show with his all time classic “It’s Only Make Believe”.  Conway Twitty died in June of 1993 from an abdominal aneurysm at the age of 59, but his legend and his music live on.

We have included both sides of the classic single record by Conway Twitty for you to enjoy.

IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE

I’LL TRY

Till the next time—Joe

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