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EARL THOMAS CONLEY,
1941-2019

Earl Thomas Conley, whose 18 country #1s include "Holding Her and Loving You," "What I'd Say" and "Right From the Start," died Wednesday in Nashville after several months in hospice care. He was 77.

His brother Fred Conley told USA Today that Earl had a condition similar to dementia, the cause of his death.

A major influence on many contemporary country singers, the Portsmouth, Ohio, native had his first hit in 1979 with "Dreamin's All I Do." His first Top 10 hit came in in 1981 with "Silent Treatment." 

He signed with Sunbird Records, which RCA Nashville chief Joe Galante acquired to get Conley on RCA. RCA became his label home in the early 1980s and helped make him a household name through hits such as "I Can't Win for Losin' You," "Once in a Blue Moon" and "That Was a Close One."

His Greatest Hits was a #1 country album in 1986 and it shot into the Top 10 at iTunes today as word of his passing spread around. Almost all of his hits were released in the 1980s; his last Top 40 single was “Hard Days and Honky Tonk Nights” in 1992.

Conley released only two studio albums after his last full-length for RCA, 1991’s Yours Truly. He stopped touring about two years ago.

 

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