On This Day: Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty Score No. 1 with ‘After the Fire Is Gone’ in 1971

by Emily Morgan

On this day, fifty years ago, the iconic classic country duo Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty claimed their No. 1 spot with their song, “After the Fire Is Gone.” Written by Grammy-winning songwriter L.E. White, the duo released the song in January 1971 as the only single from the LP We Only Make Believe.

When Lynn and Twitty released the track, little did they know it would mark a massive milestone for their careers. “After the Fire Is Gone” was the first number one hit for the artists as a duo. It spent two weeks at No. 1 and a total of 14 weeks on the char. On the Billboard “Hot 100,” the single peaked at No. 56.

The song was also a classic heartbreaking country song perfect for Loretta Lynn’s haunting voice and Conway Twitty’s soulful delivery. The lyrics are as striking as the vocals. 

Love is where you find it
When you find no love at home
And there’s nothin’ cold as ashes
After the fire is gone

Besides being a commercial hit, it had fans wondering about Lynn and Twitty’s relationship. While they had a great working relationship, their evident chemistry made fans wonder if they were romantically involved. 

Loretta Lynn Sets the Record Straight on the Rumored Romance

During Lynn’s PBS documentary, Loretta Lynn: Still A Mountain Girl, she set the record straight about the romance rumors.

“Everybody thought me and Conway had a thing going, and that’s the furthest from the truth,” Loretta Lynn revealed. “I loved Conway, as a friend, and my husband loved him. Conway was really the only one in the music business that Doo gave a dag-gone for. “

Despite never being romantically involved, the two shared a special bond that would last up until Twitty passed away. On the day that Twitty died, he was actually on his way to visit Lynn’s husband, who was in the hospital. 

According to Nash Country Weekly, she had been waiting for her friend’s arrival, but tragically, he had collapsed once he got to the hospital. 

Loretta Lynn then raced to Twitty’s side after the chaplain told her that she better come quickly. Once Lynn saw Twitty, she begged for him to stay, saying, “Now, Conway, you love to sing. You can’t leave. Don’t you leave me.” Once he passed away, Lynn was heartbroken after losing such a close friend. 

“I’d have to say that knowing Conway Twitty has been one of my great pleasures in life,” Loretta Lynn added.