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46 Years Ago: Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty’s ‘After the Fire Is Gone’ Hits No. 1

Loretta Lynn Conway Twitty After the Fire Is Gone
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Forty-six years ago today, on April 3, 1971, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty‘s “After the Fire Is Gone” duet claimed the top spot on the charts. The song was the first single that Lynn and Twitty had released as a duo, from their debut album, We Only Make Believe.

Written by I. E. White, “After the Fire Is Gone” is about two people who fall in love while still married to other people. With lines such as, “Love is where you find it / When you find no love at home / And there’s nothin’ cold as ashes / After the fire is gone,” the song made some fans think that there was something romantic happening between Lynn and Twitty, but she says that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

“Me and Conway were friends,” Lynn tells NPR. “We wasn’t lovers.”

The two artists started performing together after a fortuitous trip out of the country.

“There was a whole crew of people went overseas to perform,” Lynn recalls. “And me and Conway started singing in the dressing rooms. So we thought, well, when we get home, we’ll sing to [producer] Owen Bradley and see what he thinks.”

Bradley liked what he heard so much that the pair recorded 11 studio albums together and released more than a dozen songs. They also earned numerous additional No. 1 singles, including “Lead Me On,” “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man,” “As Soon as I Hang Up the Phone” and “Feelins.”

“After the Fire Is Gone” stayed at the top of the charts for two weeks. Lynn re-recorded the song in 2014 with Jeff Bates, for his Me and Conway album.

Twitty and Lynn’s version of “After the Fire Is Gone” is available for download on iTunes.

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