Conway Twitty: Hello Darlin’

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Conway Twitty’s album Hello Darlin’, featuring the hit single of the same name, was first released in 1970. It reached number one on the US country chart.

Hello Darlin’ features four songs written or co-written by Twitty. The title track was Twitty’s first big country hit.

The album also features two songs written by Bill Anderson: You and Your Sweet Love and I Never Once Stopped Loving You with Jan Howard. They were strong songs for female singers, both recorded that year by Connie Smith. But Conway treats them with both boldness and tenderness. His power as a vocalist goes beyond technical correctness. He channels the intensity of an internal feeling through his voice with a kind of desperation at times which makes it so compelling.

It is impossible to pick out any highlights as this album is so strong. Every track is brilliant. The immense songwriting paired with Twitty’s flawless delivery is irresistible. The much-loved, oft-covered Rocky Top is an unimaginative but fun opener.

Having heard the title track so many times, this could easily seem the least interesting of all the songs. But, when paired in order with I’m So Used To Loving You, it tells a story. Around this time, Twitty was going through separation and reuniting with his wife Mickey. These two songs read as if they are perhaps his personal feelings about losing her and trying to win her back. This adds so much value to his monster hit Hello Darlin’. It also cements Conway as much more of a creator within country music than “merely” a singer, as he may be best remembered today.

Connie Smith’s complementary liner notes further emphasise why Twitty’s music was so good. And why it remains so good today. He made it with love. And above all else, there is a real essence of all kinds of love about each of these songs. Whether it is love for music or love for a romantic partner. It is almost tangible when listening to Hello Darlin‘.

Track Listing

  1. Rocky Top
  2. I’ll Get Over Losing You
  3. Up Comes The Bottle (Down Goes The Man)
  4. You And Your Sweet Love
  5. Will You Visit Me On Sunday
  6. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
  7. Reuben James
  8. I Never Once Stopped Loving You
  9. Rose
  10. I’m So Used To Loving You
  11. Hello Darlin’

In Conclusion…

Anyone who enjoys country music of the 1960s and ’70s is bound to love Hello Darlin’. The mixture of elements all come together to make something that is so contemporary and exceptional. As ever during this era, the musicianship is second to none. The production suits Twitty’s voice perfectly and all the arrangements fit the theme of the lyrics so well.

Conway Twitty was a master of his particular brand of country music. He brought energy, passion, sensitivity and contextual sensuality to a genre which it is easy to dismiss. The album Hello Darlin’ epitomises all of that.

Many may know Conway Twitty in retrospect for loud suits and bold hairstyles. They may know his biggest hits, some of them interpretable as somewhat sexually explicit for their day. But he brought a lot more to his work than those things. Hello Darlin’ gives wonderful examples of his songwriting talent and his great interpretation of fellow artists’ work. For anyone curious about Conway Twitty, Hello Darlin’ the album is a great place to start exploring.

Hello Darlin’ is currently available as part of BGO Records’ remastered four-album Conway Twitty collection which includes Hello Darlin’, Fifteen Years Ago, How Much More Can She Stand and I Wonder What She’ll Think About Me Leaving.

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