September 1, 1933, Friars Point, Mississippi – Harold Lloyd Jenkins is born with a name not all that remarkable or memorable. And while the accounts of how he arrived at the stage name Conway Twitty vary (it was either a map, a man from Richmond, VA or having a few different women on the line), we’re damn glad we’re not composing a post about Harold Jenkins.
What’s really in a name, though?
Conway Twitty left the world we know in 1993. Too soon, for sure . . . although given the current state of popular country music, I doubt he’d really want to be around for it. In a market as cornered as the country music market, one would like to believe that the substance and skill of the most talented artists would surpass the all-too-questionable stuff playing on country radio at this moment. Country radio listeners tend to be extremely loyal (they’re probably not scanning over to the hip-hop station . . . unless that Nelly x Tim McGraw shitshow is still playing somewhere). Country listeners seem relatively maleable; meaning they’ll bend to what the music provided. My point is that country music listeners would probably enjoy listening to more Jamey Johnson, but since Billy Currington or whatever ass clown in dirty jeans with a three-day-old beard is on, that’ll do just fine. It shouldn’t. They should expect more. Oh – and Jamey Johnson’s new album (Guitar Song) comes out in a few weeks. Just a suggestion. My man can write a f’n song.
<jumps down off soap box . . . again>
I’m glad today is Conway Twitty’s birthday because it gives us a chance to play some classic stuff that you won’t hear most anywhere today. We know there’s contemporary talent to do it, but getting access to it is another story entirely. If you have the time and willingness, we strongly suggest getting into some 1960s and 1970s country music when the now towering genre walls of rock, R&B and country weren’t firmly founded. Good stuff.
Harold Jenkins, Conway Twitty, et al. Happy birthday, wherever you are.
Jumping back in briefly just to point out the wardrobe. Holy. Yes.