Today In Pop Music History (11-16-2015)

HAROLD LLOYD JENKINS
HITS THE TOP


Image result for conway twitty photosOne sure-fire way to have a hit record hit the late 1950’s and/or the early 1960’s was to simply sound like Elvis. It worked for Harold Lloyd Jenkins, who at this time in 1958 ruled the pop chart with this ballad…

 
 
According to writer Fred Bronson and Wikipedia, Harold Lloyd Jenkins got his stage name when he noticed Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas on a map. But…there’s another story about the name change…that Harold Lloyd Jenkins took his stage name from a W. Conway Twitty, Jr., who was a friend of Harold’s manager.
 
Either way, Conway Twitty had two careers. “It’s Only Make Believe” was the only #1 among his Top 40 pop hits, when he was a rocker from 1958 to the mid-60’s. Then, starting around 1965, he crossed over to the country chart, where over the years he had 40 #1 country hits. To this day, only George Strait has had more #1 country chart hits with 44.
 
The idea of sounding like Elvis to get a hit record probably began with Eddie Cochran, who gave an Elvis sound with “Sittin’ In The Balcony” in 1957. Charlie Rich succeeded with “Lonely Weekends” in 1960. In 1961, Ral Donner even out-Elvised Elvis with an Elvis song, “Glri Of My Best Friend,” and had three other top 40 hits. In 1964, Terry Stafford out-Elvised Elvis with “Suspicion.” In 1977, Ronnie McDowell had a huge hit with the Elvis tribute song, “The King Is Gone.”
 
Remember the singer I profiled Sunday? Well, he scored a Top 40 remake hit with “It’s Only Make Believe” in 1970…
 
 
Depending on which charts you recognize, Conway Twitty had as many as 55 #1 hits. For much more on Conway Twitty…
 
 
TOMORROW: A NOTE THAT SERVED AS AN ALARM CLOCK
 

Preview YouTube video Glen Campbell – It’s Only Make Believe (ORIGINAL)

 

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