Not being one who typically takes kindly to bringing deaths to the public eye I couldn't help chiming in when I learned via Twitter the news that Earl Thomas Conley has passed away. Earl Thomas Conley was a true original. It's hard to believe that today he's gone. His recording career includes 42 singles; an impressive portion of which are No. 1's. Just some of his many successes include his co-written Top 10 radio favorite "Silent Treatment," released in November of 1980, "Fire and Smoke," "Heavenly Bodies," the #1 classic "Holding Her and Loving You," the Emmylou Harris duet "We Believe in Happy Endings," "Shadow of a Doubt," and "Brotherly Love" with Keith Whitley. Conley's work has clearly had a significant impact on contemporary artists over the years: for example; longtime fans of Gary Allan in fact might have even come to know of Conley through Allan's tremendous cover of the beautifully haunting "What I'd Say" (first recorded by Conley) on the album Alright Guy. Clay Walker once charted a live recording of "Holding Her and Loving You."
Social media is of course flooded with shocked empathy as remembrances and condolences continue to pour in. "Sad sad day for country music. Earl Thomas Conley left on his journey to heaven early this morning. R.I.P. my friend." writes country legend TG Sheppard. Radio and TV host Storme Warren called ETC "one of the all timers!" And Blake Shelton tweeted an especially moving tribute and shared a sweet photo of himself with Conley (see below). The two co-wrote Shelton's hit "All Over Me." It is indeed a sad day for country music. ©-Melissa Coker
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