It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………….on November 10th of 1958 Conway Twitty had the top tune on the Billboard chart with “It’s Only Make Believe”. The singer, whose real name is Harold Lloyd Jenkins, took his stage name by combining two Southern US towns, Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas.This was written by Conway Twitty with his drummer Jack Nance between sets at the Flamingo Lounge, Hamilton. He changed his name in 1957 upon signing with Sun Records (although nothing was released) and the next year he switched to MGM with whom he recorded this. He changed his musical style to country in 1965 and scored 41 chart toppers on the Country charts. The single topped both U.S. and the UK Singles Chart, and was Twitty’s only number-one single on the pop charts of either country. On a segment of Pop Goes The Country, Twitty states the single was a hit in 22 different countries and sold over 8 million copies. It is believed that Twitty wrote his part of the song while sitting on a fire escape outside his hotel room, to escape the summer heat, in Hamilton, Ontario. Twitty had come to Canada at the request of another American singer, Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins, due to Hawkins saying to Twitty that Canada was the ‘promised land’ for music. Twitty recorded many subsequent versions of “It’s Only Make Believe”, including a 1970 duet with Loretta Lynn on their very first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe. Twitty joins in on the last verse in a 1988 uptempo cover by Ronnie McDowell, which was a #8 hit on the country music charts. In 1970, Glen Campbell’s cover reached #10 in the US and #4 in Britain. UK singer Billy Fury also reached #10 with this in the UK in 1964.