by Jim Poulton
Conway Twitty - Hello Darlin'
Photo courtesy of Last.fm.
Recorded in 1969, Conway Twitty’s Hello Darlin’ became one of the most recognizable standards of country music. Part of the reason: Twitty’s decision to begin the song with spoken words. As he was recording the song, Twitty initially tried to sing the opening line (‘Hello darlin’, nice to see you’), but found it wasn’t working. When he switched to speaking the line, and then coming in with the power of his classic country voice on the second line (‘It’s been a long time’), the result was a powerful hook that immediately draws the listener into the song’s story - a man runs into an old flame and bravely tries to claim he’s fine (‘How am I doin’? I’m doin’ all right, except I can’t sleep, I cry all night ‘til dawn’).
Twitty, in case you didn’t know, was one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. He had more singles reach number one than Elvis, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles or Garth Brooks. His #1 singles total (55) has only recently been surpassed by George Strait.
Visit a website honoring Twitty (1933-1993) here.