Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Conway Twitty, “I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)”

“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)”

Conway Twitty

Written by Harlan Howard

Radio & Records

#1 (2 weeks)

September 14 – September 21, 1984


#1 (1 week)

October 20, 1984

Harlan Howard did quite well in the eighties by pairing his material with new traditionalists like Reba McEntire and the Judds.

As if to further prove his remarkable ability to change with the times, Conway Twitty took a Howard song and arranged it as if he was one of those new traditionalists, and he pulls it off with his usual skill.

Twitty was a powerhouse vocalist, but he knew when that was in service of the song.  Such an approach wouldn’t have worked here, where the lyric needs to be heard clearly so the listener can follow the storyline.  He gives a subtle performance that evokes the understatement of Don Williams.

The conceit of having a conversation with the man in the moon could be too cloying in the wrong hands, so the soft vocal delivery and stripped down production work together to keep “The Moon Song” from being too corny.   It’s still a little corny, because only so much can be done with that lyric.  But Twitty does his best in front of the mic and behind the console to keep things as tasteful as possible.  This allows the sentiment to shine bright, and brings the loneliness of the lyric to the surface. 

By the end, the moon itself doesn’t even seem relevant.  He could’ve had this conversation with a barkeep as easily as with a satellite orbiting the earth.  They’d be speaking the truth either way.

“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song)” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I remember so much being made of of Harlan Howard as the songwriter with this hit at the time.

    It served as my introduction to him and my gateway to his outrageously important body of song writing work.

    I do know that I adored this song.

    I still do.

    Something about the conversational simplicity is utterly enchanting to me. It falls just wonderfully short of being a recitation, which somehow makes it feel more genuine.

    The experience of listening to the story is similar to eavesdropping on a phone call back when homes commonly only had one telephone in the house.

    Twitty is a brilliant servant to Howard’s words here.

    It bears repeating with the passing of each of his ’80s’ hits that Twitty is an underappreciated monumental country music star.

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