Earl Thomas Conley - lead vocals, guitar; Shannon Fontaine - lead guitar, vocals; Carl Fredick - lead guitar; J.D. Williamson - bass; Fred Williamson - saxophone, percussion, vocals; Tommy McGovern - keyboards; Bill Watts - drums
This is the second of two sets recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert Series in September of 1984. On the night of this performance, Conley had just learned that his fourth single of that year had gone to #1 on the Billboard Country Charts. It would be the only time a country artist had four #1 hits in the same year, a feat that was only equaled by The Beatles and Michael Jackson .
Conley saw his biggest success in country music between 1983 and 1992, with 1984 (the year this recording was made) as the pinnacle. His story is not that much different than many other rags to riches country artists. After a stint in the military, Conley learned the guitar and embarked on a lifelong devotion to country music. He worked several blue collar jobs, moonlighting at night in honkytonks as a struggling songwriter. When Conway Twitty finally recorded one of his songs and took it to #1 on the country charts, Nashville started to listen.
He was signed in 1977 to Warner Brothers Records, but failed to see any substantial commercial success. He left Warner's in 1979 to sign with an independent label that had showed a tremendous amount of interest, and when they took his next record over 50,000 units he suddenly found himself being pursued by RCA Records, the leading country label at the time. Conley signed with RCA in 1981 and remained with them for over a decade. While at RCA, he was among the label's biggest country stars.
Conley is no longer charting with Top 10 country hit songs, but he has remained an active touring act. He continues to perform in theaters, large country clubs and outdoor fairs. Highlights of this show include "Under Control," "Angel In Disguise," "Fire And Smoke" and "I Have Loved You Girl (But Not Like This)." As good a listen now as they ever were.