Conway Twitty was born Harold Lloyd Jenkins on September 1, 1933 in Friars Point. Mississippi. The Jenkins family moved to Helena, Arkansas, when Jenkins was ten years old. In Helena, Jenkins formed his first singing group, the Phillips County Ramblers.
Two years later, Jenkins had his own local radio show every Saturday morning. Wayne Hause, a neighbor, suggested that Jenkins could make it in the music industry. Soon after hearing Elvis Presley’s song “Mystery Train”, Jenkins began writing rock and roll material. He went to the Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and worked with Sam Phillips, the owner and founder, to get the “right” sound.
Accounts vary of how Harold Jenkins acquired his stage name of Conway Twitty. Allegedly, in 1957, Jenkins decided that his real name was not memorable enough and sought a better show business name. In The Billboard Book of Number One Hits Fred Bronson states that the singer was looking at a road map when he spotted Conway, Arkansas, and Twitty, Texas, and chose the name Conway Twitty.
Another account says that Jenkins met a Richmond, Virginia, man named W. Conway Twitty Jr. through Jenkins’ manager in a New York City restaurant. The manager served in the US Army with the real Conway Twitty. Later, the manager suggested to Jenkins that he take the name as his stage name because it had a ring to it. In the mid-1960s, W. Conway Twitty subsequently recorded the song “What’s in a Name but Trouble”, lamenting the loss of his name to Harold Jenkins.
Robert co-founded FayetteSound in 2016 and ShindigMusic! in the summer of 2017. He is a singer-songwriter/musician from the Arkansas delta, avid vinyl collector, aquarium aficionado and connoisseur of all things rock 'n' roll. He currently is lead vocalist for Los Angeles based band Farmikos and co-conspirator at The Record Exchange. "Do You Remember Laughter?"