Jeff Bates Releasing Tribute to Conway Twitty
Country singer Jeff Bates has often been compared to Conway Twitty, and now fans will have their chance to hear him sing some of the country legend's most beloved songs. Bates is set to release 'Me and Conway' in November.
"People always told me I sounded like Conway and though I never agreed, I always took it as a compliment," Bates explains in a press release. "I think it's because we were both from Mississippi, enunciated similarly and we both have that gravel sound in our voices."
It's a comparison that has both helped and hurt Bates over the years, with some radio programmers even telling him that he sounded too much like Twitty. Though he fought it for years, he finally decided to let it go.
"If people wanted to think that I sounded like him then so be it," he says. "I could spend my life arguing about it or I could just continue to write songs and sing what I felt. Then about three years ago, I decided I would own it."
The result is 'Me and Conway,' which features six of Twitty's biggest hits along with six of Bates' own songs. He hopes fans will be able to hear the similarities and differences for themselves. The album includes 'Don't Take It Away,' 'Lost in the Feeling,' 'I'd Love to Lay You Down' and 'That's My Job.'
It also features a very special track with Loretta Lynn, who agreed to re-record her classic duet with Twitty, 'After the Fire Is Gone,' with Bates for the new project. Lynn has never recorded the song with anyone other than Twitty in the 43 years since it hit No. 1 in 1971. She agreed to cut the new track after hearing Bates sing the song at the annual Conway Twitty Weekend at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
"He is one of the best singers I've ever heard in my life," Lynn raves. "I love him and Conway Twitty would have loved him!"
"Conway just always seemed to say the things I needed to say or wanted to say when I couldn't find the words," says Bates. "I would sing his songs in nightclubs and at shows throughout my career because those songs, his songs, meant something to me personally. I never met the man but he absolutely had a major impact on my career. I hope he would be proud of this tribute to him."
Jeff Bates, 'Me and Conway' Track Listing:
1. 'Me and Conway'
2. 'Don’t Take It Away'
3. 'Sleepin’ In'
4. 'She’s Got a Single Thing in Mind'
5. 'If Heaven Had a Phone'
6. 'I’d Love to Lay You Down'
7. 'That Thing We Do'
8. 'That’s My Job'
9. 'Slow Burn'
10. 'Lost in the Feeling'
11. 'Heaven Is a Hell of a Woman'
12. 'After the Fire Is Gone' (duet with Loretta Lynn)