Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: John Conlee, “In My Eyes”

“In My Eyes”

John Conlee

Written by Barbara Wyrick


#1 (1 week)

January 21, 1984

Country album cycles were still pretty tight back in the first half of the eighties, with A list artists often releasing a new album every six to nine months.

This limited the number of singles that could be pulled from any given set, and the double-sided single approach was the exception to the rule.  

“In My Eyes” likely would’ve been a big hit single for Conway Twitty if he didn’t move on to his next set after two hits from 1982’s Dream Maker.  Thankfully, John Conlee picked it up for his 1983 album, designating it as the title track and making it the second of three straight chart-toppers from the album.

Conlee’s not quite as delicate as Twitty when delivering a compliment.  He was always better with the heartbreak songs.  But he does more than well enough here, his pure sincerity shining through as he celebrates his woman’s beauty and reaffirms his commitment to be with her always.

It doesn’t have the satisfying pathos of Conlee’s earlier hits, but it demonstrates his versatility as a singer, and it’s a marked improvement over its predecessor, “I’m Only in it For the Love.”

“In My Eyes” gets a B+.  

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Ronnie Milsap, “Show Her” |

Next: Don Williams, “Stay Young”

Open in Spotify


  1. Always loved this song, and John Conlee in general. I had no idea Conway Twitty had previously recorded it; I’m gonna have to go listen to that! IMO, Conlee was just as good with the love songs most of the time. (See also: ”As Long As I’m Rockin’ With You,” which I take it is going to be covered later on in this space?)

    (Also, something funny I just noticed: As I was typing his last name here, it autocorrected to Conley. Why is that funny, you ask? Well, I remember reading that earlier in his career Earl Thomas Conley had issues with being confused with John Conlee because their last names were so similar.)

  2. Who wasn’t listening to, and loving, Conway Twitty in the ’80s?

    He was quietly insanely influential. It was never as cool or safe to cite him as a musical influence as it was Haggard or Jones, but the evidence of Twitty’s impact is inescapable with so much of the music that came after him.

    He is due a massive retrospective and acknowledgement.

    So is Conlee for that matter.

    Even with the turn to country sounds and stylings again in the music coming out of Nashville now, is there anyone with the vocals chops of Conlee or Twitty?

    All hail, John Conlee and Conway Twitty, ’80’s country royalty!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.