Country Throwback: Conway Twitty Belts ‘It’s Only Make Believe’ on TV in 1956

by Katie Maloney
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Conway Twitty appeared as a special guest on a January 1959 episode of the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show with Dick Clark.

We may all know him as a country music legend. However, did you know Conway Twitty got his start in the rock n’ roll genre? In 1958, he scored his first number one hit song with, “It’s Only Make Believe.” The single topped charts in 22 different countries and sold eight million copies. Although the song also topped country charts, it was originally considered a rock n’ roll song.

Decades ago, Twitty performed this hit during the Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. Watch Twitty walk through the theater and perform as excited fans cheer in the background.

Conway Twitty performs “It’s Only Make Believe.”

How Did Conway Twitty Get His Name?

Originally born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, Jenkins didn’t think that his name was stage-worthy. So, he decided to change it. Friends say he was on the road while looking at a map and he saw the cities, Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas. At that moment, Conway Twitty was born.

In 1970, Twitty solidified his spot as a country music star with his song, “Hello Darlin.” The song is about a couple who reunite after breaking up only to find that the same passionate feelings are still there.

During the song, he sings, “Look up Darlin. Let me kiss you. Just for old time’s sake. Let me hold you in my arms one more time.” Will they rekindle the relationship or move in separate ways? It’s a question that almost all of us ask ourselves at least once during our lives. It’s definitely an experience that resonated with audiences in 1970 because the song spent 52 weeks on the chart peaking at the number one spot.

In 1971 Twitty teamed up with another country music legend, Loretta Lynn. The two recorded their first duet, “After the Fire is Gone.” The duo went on to record some of country music’s most iconic duets. Additionally, Conway and Lynn became the most awarded female/male country duo of all time.

Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn’s “After the Fire is Gone.”
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