Tuesday, March 12, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-John Conlee

Artist:John Conlee
Song:Common Man
Album:Best Of John Conlee

John Conlee had a total of seven number one country music hits in the late 70s and into the 80s including Common Man in 1983. It's a song that sums up his appeal in a nutshell. He was born Aug. 11, 1946 in Versailles, KY which is near Lexington. He grew up on his dad's tobacco farm. Conlee was interested in music and was in a local barbershop group. But he didn't make music his career at first. He became a mortician and was a part time DJ. In 1971, he moved to Nashville to take a job at radio station WLAC. This eventually led to a record contract with ABC Records. Conlee's first single Rose Colored Glasses reached #5 on the Country Singles chart in 1978 and firmly established Conlee as a country music traditionalist. Then he topped the Country Singles chart with Lady Lay Down and Backside Of Thirty. He remained at MCA Records when MCA bought ABC in 1978. His next three albums didn't do as well. He wouldn't top the charts again until Common Man in 1983. Common Man was written by Sammy Johns. Johns is best known for his 1975 hit Chevy Van but he had success as a songwriter after that. The success of Common Man led to more success with the 1984 album In My Eyes. The number one hits I'm Only In It For The Love, In My Eyes and As Long As I'm Rockin' With You are all from that album. He left MCA for Columbia in 1986 and after the number one hit Got My Heart Set On You, Conlee faded into obscurity. This Curb Records comp is the only Conlee comp available right now but it is certainly not complete. John Conlee runs his own farm outside Nashville. He has been a spokesman for Farmaid for years. He still performs on a light schedule but he last recorded a gospel CD in 2004. But for a time in the 80s, he was the common man of country music. Here's John Conlee performing Common Man at Farmaid 1995.

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