2019-04-10 20:09:19 UTC
Heavy.com > Entertainment
Earl Thomas Conley Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
By Paul Farrell
Updated Apr 10, 2019 at 3:48pm
Earl Thomas Conley, the Ohio-born country music singer-songwriter, has died at the age of 77, according to a message from Blake Shelton. Shelton and Conley collaborated together on 2002’s “All Over Me,” which the pair wrote together alongside Michael Pyle. Shelton wrote in his Twitter post, “My heart is absolutely destroyed today… I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest…”
One tribute referred to Conley as the “thinking man’s country musician.”
1. Conley Had ‘Been in Poor Health for a Few Years
My heart is absolutely destroyed today... I’m sad to report that Earl Thomas Conley passed away very early this morning. Earl was my all time favorite singer, hero and my friend. Prayers to his family. We will all miss you deeply my brother. Now go rest...
The sad message was also posted on Shelton’s Facebook page.
A post on Conley’s Facebook page further confirmed the singer’s tragic death. That post did not give a specific cause of death but said that Conley “had been in poor health for a few years now… He is now resting peacefully.”
2. Conley Maintained That He Was the Only Country Singer to Have Appeared on ‘Soul Train’
In 1986, Conley became the first-and-only country artist to appear on an episode of “Soul Train.” That was thanks to his duet, “Too Many Times” with singer Anita Pointer. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.
3. Conley Discovered His Songwriting Talents While Performing With a Christian Trio in the Army
Conley was a native of Portsmouth, Ohio, around 100 miles east of Cincinnati. In his teenage years, Conley moved to Dayton to live with his sister. Shortly after he graduated high school, Conley discovered his songwriting talent in a Christian-influenced trio and began regular pilgrimages to Nashville in 1968. Eventually, he would move to Huntsville, Alabama, around 100 miles south of Nashville, according to an online profile.
During the 1970s, Conley’s songs that he wrote with bigger names such as Conway Twitty were successful, his solo work was not getting airplay. It was not until Conley made the final move back to Nashville where his relentless work rate was rewarded with a Warner Brothers recording contract.
4. Conley Attained 18 Number Ones on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart
During the 1980s and 1990s, Conley was a constant presence in the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with 18 number ones. Between 1991 and 1997, Conley took a sabbatical from recording.
In addition to his music, Conley was an avid painter throughout his life. Before becoming a professional musician, he had contemplating attending art school.
5. Conley’s Death Has Resulted in an Outpouring of Emotion on Social Media
As news of Conley’s death spread, fans and fellow country stars have taken to social media to pay tribute to the singer. While speaking to Fox News, fellow country star T.G. Sheppard said, “There are voices in our business that you recognize instantly from the first word they sing. Earl Thomas was one of those incredible voices. It’s truly a sad, sad day for country music. He was a kind and gentle man. I was honored to have worked shows with him and call him a friend.”