A song written and recorded by Conway Twitty for the Decca label, recorded on November 17, 1969, at Bradley’s Barn, Bender’s Ferry Road, Mount Juliet, TN, with the production of Owen Bradley, was released on March 23, 1970, June 6, 1970, reached number # 1 on the lists of US Hot Country Songs, for 4 weeks in a row, and remained 20 weeks on the list, on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks lists, reached number # 2. It was the fourth number one of Conway’s career.
The song was included in Conway’s eighteenth studio album, Hello Darling (Decca 1970), the album reached # 1 on the US Top Country Albums charts, it was certified gold record in the USA.
The contion became Twitty’s standard concert opener, the song became a country standard, as well as its signature song. When he performed with Loretta Lynn, Twitty frequently sang the song directly to Loretta. The Twitty recording was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. During Twitty’s life, two songs were closely associated with him: “It’s Only Make Believe” and “Hello Darlin ‘”.
While recording the song in 1969, Twitty sang the first lines, but for some reason it did not work. Record producer Owen Bradley suggested speaking in a low voice: “Hi, dear, it’s good to see you.” The result was a hook that made the song instantly recognizable by the fans.
On July 17, 1975, “Hello Darlin ‘” was played and aired to a worldwide audience as part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Actually, it was a Russian version of the song. Called “Privet Radost”, the song, commissioned by the Apollo team, was interpreted by the American astronauts to the Russian cosmonauts (of the Soyuz team) as “a gesture of good will”. Twitty worked with a language professor at the University of Oklahoma to record the Russian phonetic version of the song.
Billy Walker 1970 (MGM)
Billie Jo Spears 1970 (Capitol)
Loretta Lynn 1970 (Decca)
Charlie Rich 1970 (Epic)
Hank Locklin 1970 (RCA)
George Jones 1973 (Epic)
Bobby G. Rice 1973 (Metromedia Country)
George Canyon 2007 (Universal Music Canada)
Conway Twitty – Hello Darlin’ Lyrics
Nice to see you
It’s been a long time
You’re just as lovely as you used to be.
How’s your new love?
Are you happy?
Hope you’re doin’ fine
Just to know it means so much to me.
What’s that, darlin’?
How am I doin’?
I’m doin’ alright
Except I can’t sleep and I cry all night ’til dawn.
What I’m trying to say
Is I love you
And I miss you
And I’m so sorry that I did you wrong.
Look up, darlin’
Let me kiss you
Just for old time’s sake
Let me hold you in my arms one more time.
Thank you, darlin’
May God bless you
And each step you take
Bring you closer to the things you seek to find.
I gotta go now
Gotta try to find a way
To lose these memories of a love so warm and true.
And if you should ever find it
In your heart to forgive me
Come back, darlin’
I’ll be waitin’ for you…