Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Conway Twitty, “Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night”

“Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night”

Conway Twitty

Written by Max D. Barnes and Troy Seals


#1 (1 week)

January 23, 1982

Sometimes an artist gets a bum rap, and has their output characterized unfairly.

Conway Twitty was the biggest artist connected to what a radio programmer at the time called “country porn.”  Though it wasn’t articulated in quite that direct a manner until the early eighties, it’s a reputation that had followed Twitty since the misinterpretations of “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” many years earlier.

That song was about a woman leaving a loveless marriage, but some listeners assumed from the title and the lyric “as my trembling fingers touch forbidden places” that he was deflowering a woman who hadn’t yet reached the age of consent. It was enough to get the record banned from some radio stations, despite Twitty’s emphasis on the line, “I don’t know and I don’t care what made you tell him you don’t love him anymore.”

We’ve covered two other signature hits – “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and “I’d Love to Lay You Down” – that were also perceived as being salacious, even though the lyrical content didn’t truly support that reading of either song.  

But sometimes an artist proves even their most unfair critics right.  

On “Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night,” Conway Twitty goes full T.G. Sheppard, releasing a song that is so explicitly carnal that Twitty slips into a Big Bopper impression to get himself through it:

Hey!Hello baby, Conway hereLet me lay this in your earGet ready to go
We gonna roll about sundown
I got some boogie woogie musicOn the old 8-trackYeah, I got the top laid backWe’ll go cruisin’We’ll go foolin’ around
Well here I am baby, ready to playSlide it on in, we’ll slip awayWe gotta get it, we ain’t got a minute to waste
Yes, I know he’s technically sliding in a tape to the eight track player, but he ain’t subtle about what’s really going down in that car.
The tell that he’s gone too far this time is his complete inability to sing this song like those earlier hits.  There’s simply no romance going on here for his velvety vocals to wrap around. 
Maddie & Tae are going to have to amend their own lyrics:  “Conway never done it this way —- except for that one time…”
“Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night” gets a C

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Not commenting on this song as I’ve never heard it and may not want to, but while I’ve always loved “You’ve Never Been This Far Before”, I had never picked up on that line and what the song was about. I never considered it salacious, just a loving description of deflowering but wow, that makes it so much more interesting somehow. I mean, I know the line, I just never quite picked up on what it meant.

  2. Twitty still doesn’t conflate romance with sex,

    Sure this is a dirty song full of lewd innuendos, but he explicitly sets us up for that in the second verse when he announces they will go crusin’ with the intent of foolin’ around.

    Sex does not have to presume romance.

    Even the whippoorwills know what this song is about, and that’s being touched in the moonlight with the stars in your eyes and the wind in your hair. Its about feeling things real close as lovers slide and slip in the southern heat.

    It’s saying something about the narrator’s hunger and thirst that he passes up the six pack of longnecks on ice in the trunk to kiss his lover all over her face.

    Like Woody Allen said,” Sex is dirty if you do it right.”

    I like the boppy enthusiasm, expectation and raw confidence of this song about holding on tight and being ready to play.

    Twitty may be recording country porn, but it is still female friendly.

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