Country Throwback: Conway Twitty Belts ‘Goodbye Time’ at 1988 Country Awards Show

by Clayton Edwards

In 1988, Conway Twitty performed his top-ten hit “Goodbye Time” at the Music City News Awards. Twitty would also take home the Living Legend Award that night.

During the performance, the country music icon pouts his heart and soul into the sad ballad. In that three-and-half minute performance, he proved that he was, in fact, a living legend.

Conway Twitty Stuns With “Goodbye Time”

“Goodbye Time” is a great classic country song. It’s all about pleading with a lover to stay before giving up and letting them go. The song is both powerful and heartbreaking. The simple piano accompaniment allows Conway Twitty’s voice all the room it needs to truly unfold.

The performance mirror’s the song’s simplicity. It’s a tastefully lit stage, a handful of musicians, and Twitty. There’s nothing to take eyes away from the legend at center stage.

Just like his voice fills the space in the song, he takes full advantage of the attention. It’s not a flashy performance. It’s just a man leaving his heart and soul on the stage. He looks like he’s feeling every ounce of pain in the lyrics and that makes for an incredible performance.

Conway Twitty is relatively subdued during the verses of “Goodbye Time”. His intensity slowly builds as he moves into the chorus, which where it all comes out. Watching his face is like watching him live through the narrator of the song. It’s like he’s thinking back to heartache and drawing from it.

This is especially true when he moves into the chorus. When he belts out, “If being free is worth what you leave behind/ And if it’s too late for love to change your mind/ Then it’s goodbye time,” it’s like watching his heart shatter on stage.

Conway Twitty absolutely deserved that Living Legend Award and this performance is an example of why.

The Music City News Awards

The Music City News Awards started in the late sixties. In the mid-70s they started televising their awards show. They partnered with TV Network, TNN to broadcast the show in 1989. At that point, it became The TNN Music City News Awards. The magazine would continue to work with TNN until 1999. They ceased publication in February of 2000.

TNN then began partnering with “Country Weekly” to produce an annual country music awards show. In 2001, the “Country Weekly” awards started airing on CMT. After a couple of rebrands, the show became the CMT Music Awards in 2005.