Whatever Happened To ’80’s Superstar Earl Thomas Conley?
If you were to ask people who had the most #1 country hit's in the decade of the 1980's, chance are you would get a number of different responses.
All worthy of consideration, but....all wrong. The artist with the most #1's in the 80's was Earl Thomas Conley.
Conley is a name and an artist that hasn't seen the Top 40 chart in country music for many years. Chances are, many of the younger country music fans wouldn't even recognize the name. But what a decade long run of hit's he had. Let's take a look:
Fire and Smoke (81)
Somewhere Between Right and Wrong (82)
Your Love's On The Line (83)
Holding Her and Loving You (83)
Don't Make It Easy For Me (84)
Angel In Disguise (84)
Chance Of Lovin' You (84)
Honor Bound (85)
Love Don't Care Who's Heart It Breaks (85)
Nobody Falls Like A Fool (85)
Once In A Blue Moon (86)
I Can't Win For Losin' You (86)
That Was A Close One (87)
Right From The Start (87)
What She Is (88)
We Believe In Happy Endings (with Emmylou Harris) (88)
What I'd Say (88)
Love Out Loud (89)
That's right 18 #1 hits in the 1980's...eighteen! That's more than most of the members of the Country Music Hall of Fame had in their entire careers. Conley did it in one decade.
So whatever happened to Earl Thomas Conley?
In the early 1990's the Portsmouth, Ohio native took a 7 year recording hiatus for a number of reasons, not the least of which was vocal problems. He began recording again in 1998, but had not been able to capture the music magic he had in the 1980's. Country music superstar Blake Shelton has cited Earl Thomas as one of his biggest musical influences.
Earl Thomas passed away April 10th, 2019 at the age of 77 from cerebral atrophy. He left us with some of the greatest country music hits ever. So go ahead, call a country music station and ask them to play an Earl Thomas Conley #1 hit. Heck, they have 18 to choose from!