THE CONWAY TWITTY STORY: An Authorized Biography by Wilbur & Michael Kosser Cross

THE CONWAY TWITTY STORY: An Authorized Biography

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No Coal Miner's Daughter in terms of country music excitement. In this extended, rambling interview, Twitty is not exactly a master raconteur, and the co-authors lack the ability to enliven transcribed inter. views. The only suspense is created by enigmatic chapter titles like ""MR. THS,"" which turns out to mean ""Mr. Tallulah High School,"" where Twitty spent his younger years in Louisiana. Amid the tedium, the authors manage to skirt the offensive with a jocular account of a barroom brawl in which the Twitty boys beat up some blacks (the authors call it a ""setback to race relations""). Yet this seems positively Voltarian compared to the story of Jerry Lee Lewis kicking an old piano off a hotel balcony. There are decidedly minor thrills, too, in discovering why Harold Jenkins changed his name to Conway Twitty and became a star. Twitty seems to suffer from a staggering lack of imagination, perhaps the real secret of his success: ""I never improvise. I present the song exactly the way I did years ago and have always done."" Was Twitty's early failure as a rock singer due to a lack of talent or to uncomprehending audiences? The authors repeatedly mourn Conway's early records ""dying"" at the bottom of the charts. But the emotional climax must be the section devoted to Twitty's change of hairstyle. By comparison, his career ups and downs seem small potatoes. The end of the book introduces the surreal subject of Twitty City, an amusement park Conway built in tribute to himself. In the light of Twitty's stardom (second in inexplicability only to Wayne Newton's), his parting words about his career acquire an ominous tone: ""I just don't want to give up -- ever.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Doubleday