Earl Thomas Conley was a country music singer and songwriter. He was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, on October 17, 1941, and died of cerebral atrophy in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 10, 2019. Conley began his career in 1974, but he was at the height of his fame throughout the 1980s and 1990s. During his career, Earl Thomas Conley has released ten studio albums, seven compilation albums, 11 music videos, and one live album. He has also released 41 singles, 30 of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Here are the 10 best Earl Thomas Conley songs of all time.
10. Somewhere Between Right and Wrong (1982)
After being released in 1982, ‘Somewhere Between Right and Wrong’ became Earl Thomas Conley’s second number one hit on the country charts. The song is about a relationship that becomes cold and leads to infidelity. It was the title track of Conley’s third studio album. Conley co-wrote this song with Nelson Larkin.
9. Once in a Blue Moon (1986)
Conley co-wrote ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ with Tom Brasfield and Robert Byrne. It is a ballad spent 14 weeks on the country chart, including one week at the top spot. Along with ‘Nobody Falls Like a Fool,’ ‘Once in a Blue Moon was one of the two new tracks that featured on Conley’s first ‘Greatest Hits’ album.
8. Nobody Falls Like a Fool (1985)
‘Nobody Falls Like a Fool’ was one of two new tracks included on Conley’s first ‘Greatest Hits’ album, and the other was ‘Once in a Blue Moon.’ It was the tenth of Conley’s singles to reach the top of the country chart, and it remained on the chart for 15 weeks. ‘Nobody Falls Like a Fool’ also topped the Canadian country chart. This song was written by Peter McCann and Mark Wright.
7. Fire and Smoke (1981)
At the end of 1981, Billboard listed this track in the top position on the Hot Country Songs chart for the year. It was the first of Conley’s hits to achieve this position, although it was the fourth to achieve a top 40 position. The song was the title track from the country singer’s second studio album.
6. Holding Her and Loving You (1983)
Conley combines the pleasure of being in love with the pain of losing the woman he loves in this song, which was released in 1983. It featured on Conley’s fourth studio album, ‘Don’t Make It Easy for Me.’ The song was Conley’s fourth number one. It stayed in the top spot for a week and spent a total of 14 weeks on the country charts.
5. Brotherly Love (1991)
Although Conley had many chart-topping hits, it was ‘Brotherly Love’ that earned him the most critical acclaim. It was a duet that Conley performed with Keith Whitley, and it peaked at number two on the country charts in the United States. In Canada, it reached number six on the country charts. The song was written by Jimmy Alan Stewart and Tim Nichols, and it was originally performed by Moe Bandy. Whitley and Conley first recorded this song together in 1987, although it did not appear on an album until 1991 when it featured on both Conley’s ‘Yours Truly’ and Whitley’s posthumous album ‘Kentucky Bluebird. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.
4. I Can’t Win for Losin’ You (1986)
‘I Can’t Win for Losin’ You’ was the 12th of Conley’s 18 singles to top the country charts, and it was a track that appeared on the album ‘Too Many Times.’ It was written by Robert Byrne and Rick Bowles. Although it is a country song, there is an element of R&B to the single. The song is about a man’s love that got away.
3. Right from the Start (1986)
The Boot says that one of the best Earl Thomas Conley songs of all time is ‘Right from the Start.’ This love song’s sound is definitive of the 1980s, and the vocals are set against a backdrop of an electric guitar and synthesizers. It was the fourth of four singles released from the album ‘Too Many Times,’ and it was the most successful of the four songs, as it topped the country charts in both Canada and the United States. The song was written by Billy Herzig and Randy Watkins.
2. We Believe in Happy Endings (1988)
Earl Thomas Conley was not the first person to record ‘We Believe in Happy Endings,’ as it was recorded a decade earlier by Johnny Rodriguez. Conley’s version is a duet with female artist Emmylou Harris. It was the second single from the album ‘The Heart of It All.’ Conley and Harris were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for this track. The single was the last of Harris’ to reach number one on the charts.
1. What I’d Say (1988)
According to Taste of Country, the best Earl Thomas Conley song of all time is his 1988 single ‘What I’d Say.’ It is a country ballad about a man who has been left broken-hearted by a woman and is now full of regret. The song was the third of five singles released from the album ‘The Heart of It All,’ and it was a chart-topping country hit in both the United States and Canada. Robert Byrne and Will Robinson wrote this song.