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Earl Thomas Conley

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Earl Thomas Conley, referred to by many as “ETC”, is one of the most successful Country Music artists of the 1980s. With hits like “Fire and Smoke”, “Holding Her and Loving You”, “Once in a Blue Moon”, “Don’t Make It Easy For Me”, “Shadow of a Doubt” and countless others, he made his mark on the Country Music world. Conley’s music earned the label “Thinking man’s Country”, by looking into the heart and soul of his characters and because of this many listeners relate to his songs, even today. Conley easily expressed himself as a gifted singer and songwriter.

Born into a poor family, in Portsmouth, OH, he first wanted to become a painter but found that music was his true calling after participating as a member of a Christian influenced trio during his days in the Army. Recordings by Merle Haggard, George Jones, and Charlie Pride became the basis of the basis of his country music education and served as a solid foundation for Conley, who began to write songs in the late 60s and early 70s.

During the 1980s, Conley charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, with eighteen of those climbing to the top spot and marking the most number one hits by any artist in any genre during that decade. In 1982, “Heavenly Bodies” kicked off a string of 21 straight top ten hits that ran for seven years, 17 of which were number one. During that time period, Conley had four number one singles from the same album, a feat that had never been accomplished by any artist in any genre prior to this.

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