Monday, May 21, 2018

Tortie Shorties Meets Mewsic Moves Me

Confession time - for the past couple months I've been in a bit of a reading slump. It's not that I haven't been enjoying my usual diet of cozies, it's just that I've been reading too many of them, one right after another, and eventually they all started to resemble each other so much that I was having a hard time staying awake while reading.

I knew I needed a change, and it came in the form of a pair of books that have been sitting on my bookshelf for far too long. This post is a bit different from our typical Tortie Shorties Book Reviews, but it also segues into our Mewsic Moves Me choice for the week, a blog hop we're having a lot of fun with!

I'm going to assume that most people have heard a Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn duet at some point as they were the most successful and most awarded male/female duo in country music history. Both were superstars on their own, and when they collaborated over the course of 10 studio albums it was pure magic. It's no secret by now that Conway makes me melt into a puddle, and Loretta has always been my mom's favorite singer, so Conway & Loretta were practically an institution for me growing up.

The Conway Twitty Story: An Authorized Biography was released in 1986 and I have a first edition hardcover! (Used copies of both the hardcover and paperback are selling for pretty crazy amounts but I'll never part with my copy!) He never had chance to write an autobiography, and he was such a private person that he probably wouldn't have anyways, so I'm very thankful for this book which is comprised of interviews with him and his inner circle. I found myself respecting him even more as a person, not just an artist, after reading it. He wasn't like so many country singers of that time, hard partying, getting drunk or stoned, landing in jail. He was a family man who worked hard for everything he achieved and never took his success for granted or let it change him. He ended up working until the day he died.

Still Woman Enough is actually Loretta's second autobiography, released in 2002. The first, Coal Miner's Daughter, became an Oscar-award winning movie that I've seen dozens of times. I have the paperback book that my mom received from a friend to read while she was in the hospital recovering from a C-section after having me! Loretta has had an incredibly difficult life filled with pain, loss, and a husband who treated her terribly that she still remained loyal to. Many of the stories in this book she never would've been able to tell if he were still alive. Her life has been what country songs are made of.

Conway & Loretta were never romantically involved, but Loretta always said they were soul mates. Their story came to a heartbreaking end in June 1993 when Loretta's husband was in a Springfield, Missouri hospital recovering from open heart surgery. Conway, on his way from Branson back to Nashville, made plans to visit them in the hospital, but became a patient there himself when he collapsed on his tour bus from an abdominal aneurysm. Loretta's memories of their final moments together were heartbreaking. There's no other explanation for the chain of events but that they were meant to be together one last time.

This video is from an early '80s TV special. I'd give my right arm to have had him serenade me like that!!!

Today Loretta isn't in the best of health herself. She's 86 now, had a stroke last year, and then fell and fractured her hip earlier this year. I hope she's still with us for years to come but when it's her time I have no doubt Conway will be the first to welcome her with a hello darlin' in that unforgettable voice.

The theme of this week's Curious as a Cathy Mewsic Moves Me blog hop is "songs about remembering or forgetting." The song I chose is I Don't Remember Going Crazy from Conway's 1988 Still In Your Dreams album. For some reason it was never released as a single, but it's so beautiful.


  1. Loretta and Conway definitely had some pawsome songs!

  2. I know what you mean about needed a break from the cozies. I love 'em, but it's good to get some variety. These sound like great choices! That is a beautiful song too. Not sure I'd ever heard that one before. :)

  3. Conway and Loretta were a great duo, country music icons.

  4. I'm like you, and sometimes I have to change up my reading material to get back in a good reading groove. I have always been a fan of Loretta Lynn, and now I think I'll go listen to some of her duets with Conway. Happy Monday!

  5. Those are two legends in any genre of music. I need to listen to more of their duets.

  6. I thought the greatest country duo was Johnny Cash and June Carter. TW saw R.E.M. and Fetchin' Bones at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. A little bit country and a whole lot of rocknroll.

  7. Believe it or not, I was in that minority of people who had never heard a Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn duet before hearing about it here, so thank you for sharing! Such nice voices and what a story to go with them.
    World of Animals

  8. I got to see Loretta Lynn at the Opry in 1999--she is still amazing! And who doesn't love a Conway song? (Can you tell I'm all about old country?)

  9. Conway Twitty is my kind of country music. Throw Loretta Lynn in, and it's even better. Great set!

  10. Melissa,

    Absolutely, I remember Loretta Lynn and Conway Tweety. I grew up listening to them sing on the airwaves and TV specials. "Hello Darlin'" is perhaps their one hit I remember the most. Cool, you found a song title that ties in with today's theme, too. Those old country singers were fabulous. Thanks for sharing the mewsic and the dance floor with me today!

    Curious as a Cathy

  11. thanks for reminding me of some great music!

  12. Our mum likes to read a wide range of books too.
    Cozy mysteries are just so easy to read and good for reading during her daily commute.
    She often has a couple of different types of books on the go.
    We think Loretta's story would be good.Even though mum is a rock and roller, she liked the movie
    Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

  13. I really don't know much about either one of these singers, but what one reads and I loved the movie that was made about Loretta Lynn. It was a real tear jerker to me. I've never heard your last song posted here, but it's really pretty. Thanks for playin' along with us today! Have a rockin' week!

  14. I havent heard of Loretta Lynn is a lonnnnng time, and who can forget about Conway Twitty? He has one of those voices that stays with you. I'm always surprised when people say they had never heard of music legends. Makes me wonder if they were living under a rock somewhere...

    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  15. I enjoyed reading about the latest books you've read. I certainly remember Loretta and Conway. My folks were big country fans and so I heard them often growing up. You've made me want to read the books and I think I'll buy them for my Mom on the Kindle I just got her for Mother's Day. That will make a nice birthday surprise for her... So thanks for that!

    Great Conway song. Great title too...

    Have a great week,

    Michele at Angels Bark

  16. I was so sorry to hear of Loretta Lynn's fall - I knew she was bad health, but - aging is such a sad thing when you see what can happen. It can be so heartbreaking - just perfect for country music, actually. I'm not a big country fan but I do know about both these singers, and Hello Darlin' is such a good tune. Alana

  17. Conway and Loretta certainly are icons in country, aren't they? Great song choices, and thanks for the book info! :)

  18. Loretta Lynn just has that voice!!
    And I need to read more things myself.
    Thanks for sharing.