John Conlee is a US-based country musician, born on August 11, 1946. Raised on a tobacco farm in Versailles, KY, he developed an interest in music from childhood. While he might have started performing at a local radio station, his most significant break came in the 1970s. According to AllMusic, Conlee chose to pursue music instead of being a mortician. To supplement his income, he worked as a DJ in many local radio stations before moving to Nashville in 1971. By 1976, he had already signed a contract with ABC, marking his most significant break. Below is a list of the 10 best John Conlee songs.
10. I Don’t Remember Loving You
One of the most hurtful statements you can ever tell someone you once loved is “I Don’t Remember Loving You.” it’s worse when it comes out in a song. John Conlee released this song in 1982 alongside songwriters Bobby Braddock and Harlan Howard. It revolves around a man fed up with his lover’s infidelities that he can hardly recognize her because he’s in a psychiatric facility. Best Line: “I don’t remember loving you, and I don’t recall the things you say you put me through.”
9. Backside of Thirty
The third single from John Conlee is “Backside of Thirty.” It was released in February 1979. The story behind this song revolves around a man nearing his thirtieth birthday. He looks back at his life in his thirties and keeps wondering if he could turn back the hands of time. Considering that by his 30th birthday and he had a wife, job, and son, he doesn’t feel fulfilled because he lost it all. We ranked this song ninth because of its sadness, but it portrays the misery people face. Best Line: “Now I’m wine drunk and running with them on my mind.”
8. I’m Only in It for The Love
“I’m Only in It for The Love” comes number seven on our list because it’s the fourth number one song on the country chart, topping it for twelve weeks. It was released in June 1983 and written by Deborah Allen, Kix Brooks, and Rafe Van Hoy. The reason we like this song is its straightforwardness. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that Conlee sang it as a love song. Best Line: “There’s something you got that gets me going.”
7. Lady Lay Down
“Lady Lay Down” is a second single from the album “Rose Colored Glasses,” released in 1978. The 3.05-minute track is Conlee’s second country hit in the country chart. It retained the top position for one week, making it one of the most sought-after country music songs. Written by Rafe Van Hoy and Don Cook, this track’s story revolves around a man trying to woo his lover back. We guess that she’s slowly slipping out of his fingers and the best way to revive their love is to make her lay down. Best Line: “I never kept the promises I told you, not it’s time I give in….”
6. Years After You
According to WGLT, Conlee has been writing and singing original music to publishers since the 1970s and 1980s. In 1982, he released “Years After You” alongside songwriter Thom Schuyler. The song received tremendous success in 1984 as the first single from the album, “Blue Highway.” The song ranked second on Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. Fun Line: “I don’t know if I can explain it, çause there’s nothin’ different at all.”
5. Miss Emily’s Picture
“Miss Emily’s Picture” is another fantastic track by Conlee, released in August 1981 from the album “With Love.” It’s hard to imagine how brutal a heartbreak is until your lover decides to cut communication or dies. Conlee expresses his deepest regrets for losing Emily, his ex-lover, in this song. Having her picture triggers special memories, and he can’t help but break down. Fun Line: “Clinging to the broken heart inside my head.”
4. Old School
“Old School” is a track released in October 1985 and written by Russell Smith and Don Schlitz. Like “Miss Emily’s Picture,” this track expresses Conlee’s most profound regrets. It talks about Conlee recalling the special moments they shared growing up. Now that they got married to different people, it’s hard imagining what it’s like to meet in a class reunion, and they don’t know if they’re still into each other. “Now here we are at the class reunion. You ask my wife if we could have one dance for the old times.” is the best line.
3. Got My Heart Set On You
If there’s a country music singer who knows how to express his emotions, John Conlee takes the trophy. His song “Got My Heart Set On You” is an epitome of a perfect romantic gesture any person will want to dedicate to their lover. Released in May 1986, this 3.01-minute track wouldn’t have topped the country song chart were it not for songwriters Dobie Gray and Bud Reneau. The best line: “Ever since the day I met you, I feel like I’m walkin’ on air.”
2. As Long as I’m Rockin’ with You
“As long as I’m Rockin’ with You” is a 3.24-minute track released in February 1984 by John Conlee and written by Bruce Channel and Kieran Kane. It was the sixth number one on the country chart featuring in the album, “In My Eyes.” This track talks about a man willing to hold on to love through the harshest circumstances. The best line is: “Wherever I’m going, wherever I’m staying, it doesn’t matter.”
1. Before My Time
“Before My Time” was released in August 1979 as Conlee’s first single from the album “Forever.” At the time, it peaked at number two in the US Hot Country Songs (Billboard). This track talks about a man taking his lover back from a toxic relationship written by Ben Peters. He assures her that he will right the wrongs her ex-lover caused. The best line: “I’ll help you forget in these arms of mine.”
Though Conlee is a licensed mortician, he chose to go the music route because he knew that was where his heart belonged. You can tell from these songs that he’s talented, making him one of the most celebrated country music artists of all time.