Friday, August 09, 2019

Music Friday: Conway Twitty Reveals Wedding Ring Fantasy in ‘It’s Only Make Believe’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, country music legend Conway Twitty is the victim of a one-sided love affair in his 1958 classic, “It’s Only Make Believe.”

In this song about unrequited love, Twitty pours out his heart in a soaring vocal performance. He's ready to make the ultimate commitment — symbolized in the song by a wedding ring — but the object of his affection is not in love with him.

He sings, “My hopes, my dreams come true / My life, I’d give for you / My heart, a wedding ring / My all, my everything / My heart, I can’t control / You rule my very soul / My plans, my hopes, my schemes / Girl, you are my every dream / But it’s only make believe.

“It’s Only Make Believe” was a huge success for Twitty as it topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958 and was a hit in 22 countries. The song was covered by numerous artists, including Connie Francis, The Hollies, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Bon Jovi and Fiona Apple, among others.

Twitty re-released the song as a duet with Loretta Lynn in 1970 and added his voice in the last verse of a cover by Ronnie McDowell in 1988.

There are a number of conflicting stories about the song's origin. Some music historians believe it was written by Twitty in only seven minutes during a concert intermission. Others have said Twitty knocked it out while sitting on a fire escape outside his sweltering hotel room in Hamilton, Ontario.

It's also rumored that when the song was first released by Twitty in 1958, Elvis Presley fans were certain the lead vocals were performed by The King of Rock 'n' Roll, singing under a pseudonym.

Speaking of names, the story behind Twitty's is noteworthy.

Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins in Friars Point, Miss., in 1933, the artist developed his singing style while serving in the United States Army. When he returned from the Far East, Jenkins went to Memphis to pursue a music career. The one thing he lacked was a memorable name. According to an account by Fred Bronson in the Billboard Book of Number One Hits, the singer was looking at a road map when he spotted Conway, Ark., and Twitty, Texas. He merged the two and got Conway Twitty.

The new name seemed to change his fortune. He soon had a string of Top-40 hits, and performed award-winning duets with Loretta Lynn. Twitty was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He passed away in 1993, just a few months short of his 60th birthday.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of Twitty's 1976 rendition of “It’s Only Make Believe.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“It’s Only Make Believe”
Written by Conway Twitty and Jack Nance. Performed by Conway Twitty.

People see us everywhere
They think you really care
But myself I can’t deceive
I know it’s only make believe

My one and only prayer
Is that some day you’ll care
My hopes, my dreams come true
My one and only you

No one will ever know
How much I love you so
My only prayer will be
Someday you’ll care for me
But it’s only make believe

My hopes, my dreams come true
My life, I’d give for you
My heart, a wedding ring
My all, my everything

My heart, I can’t control
You rule my very soul
My plans, my hopes, my schemes
Girl, you are my every dream
But it’s only make believe

My one and only prayer
Girl, is that some day you’ll care
My hopes, my dreams come true
You’re my one and only you

And no one will ever know
Just how much I love you so
And my only prayer will be
That someday you’ll care for me
But it’s only make believe
It’s make believe

Credit: Photo by United Talent Inc. (management)/MCA Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Couple Ties Knot at Same Beach Where Engagement Ring Was Lost a Year Ago

Tyler Farrar knows better than most how the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry — especially in unpredictable bodies of water.

Exactly one year ago, the Sevierville, Tenn., native brought his girlfriend, Cassandra Arn, and a bunch of close friends to Panama City Beach on the Florida panhandle to enjoy some fun in the sun. What Farrar also had planned was a surprise surf-side marriage proposal.

In preparation for the big moment, Farrah and his buddies waded out into the shallow waters to practice how the future groom would deliver his "message-in-a-bottle" proposal. His good intentions were quickly wiped out when a huge wave knocked him down and jarred loose the engagement ring that he had carefully stashed in a Ziploc-style bag within the Velcro-sealed pocket of his bathing suit.

For 45 minutes, Farrar and his buddies frantically searched unsuccessfully for the ring.

“I never thought it would be found,” he told

Meanwhile, not too far down the beach, Florence, Ala., resident Sandy Osborn was sitting on a beach chair where the surf meets the sand when she noticed an unusual plastic bag tumbling right under her legs. It seemed to contain a license, a bank card — and an engagement ring. Osborn planned to call the bank to identify the cardholder, but before she could, she noticed a bunch of Farrar's friends asking beachgoers if they had seen the ring.

When Osborne produced the bag of valuables, the thrilled friends took custody of it and ran it back to Farrar.

With the ring now safely in hand, Farrar decided to ditch his elaborate water-borne proposal scheme.

He kneeled in front of Arn and asked her to marry him. She said, "Yes."

The newly engaged couple praised Osborne's honesty.

“I’m super thankful,” Farrar told “It gave me faith in humanity. There still are some decent people out here. I appreciate her honesty.”

Arn and Osborne connected right away and kept in touch during the past year. Osborne recounted how she convinced the couple to reconsider their wedding venue.

"[Cassandra] said, 'You gotta come to our wedding.' I know they live in Tennessee, I live in Alabama, and they planned on getting married in Tennessee, and I said, 'Ya'll need to come back to Panama City Beach and do it here, where it all happened.' Osborn told TV station WJHG. "So the next thing I know, I'm getting an invitation in the mail to come back for their wedding."

On Saturday, August 3, only a few yards from where the ring was lost, and with Osborne in attendance, the Farrars took their vows.

"I'm just so happy to be here and be a part of it, because it's just a once-in-a-lifetime memory. And I'm just so glad I found the ring because it could've easily been lost forever," Osborn told WJHG.

You can check out WJHG's coverage of the story here...

Credits: Screen captures via

Monday, August 05, 2019

Quiz Segment of NPR's 'Ask Me Another' Shines the Spotlight on Gold

Friday's episode of Ask Me Another, a popular radio show on NPR, featured a quiz segment titled "Stay Gold, Ponyboy." All the answers to the clues posed by host Ophira Eisenberg contained the word "golden."

In the end, Ryan Greenberg beat out Wynter Chatman by going six for six. Greenberg clinched the win when he gave the right answer to the clue, "According to the U.S. Apple Association, it's America's sixth-favorite apple.

Later in this post, you'll get a chance to see how you would have done if you were a contestant at the Bell House in Brooklyn, where the contestants competed.

But first, let's touch on the origin of "Stay Gold, Ponyboy." It comes from The Outsiders, a 1983 movie that follows the tragic story of rival gangs in rural Oklahoma. The all-star cast included Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon and Tom Cruise. The Outsiders was adapted from a 1967 novel by teenage author S.E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton, who based the story on her own experiences.

Robert Frost's poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” plays a pivotal role in the film, as Ponyboy (played by Howell) reads it to a critically injured Johnny (Macchio) while they are in hiding.

Frost’s eight-line poem, which was originally published in 1923, ends with the line, “So dawn goes down to day / Nothing gold can stay.”

“Stay gold” are Johnny’s last words before he dies. Ponyboy is confused by the the phrase, but it all comes into clear focus later in the film when he finds Johnny’s interpretation of the Frost poem: that beauty and innocence are transient and must be guarded like gold.

Now, for the "Stay Gold, Ponyboy" clues. The answers are at the end of the post. Good luck...

1. It's the name for McDonald's logo."
2. Augustus, Veruca, Violet, Mike and Charlie each find one.
3. It's an Emmy-winning sitcom from the 1980s and '90s.
4. This award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizes achievements in film and TV.
5. It's a large payment given to an executive who's terminated after a merger or takeover.
6. In the Book of Exodus, it's the idol worshipped at the base of Mt. Sinai.
7. This restaurant chain bills itself as America's number one buffet and grill.
8. This James Bond film became a popular Nintendo 64 game.
9. In Japan, it's a cluster of four national holidays in the spring.
10. This mathematical concept may be expressed as X squared minus X minus one equals zero.
11. In Greek mythology, when Paris awarded this to Aphrodite, he indirectly started the Trojan War.
12. According to the U.S. Apple Association, it's America's sixth-favorite apple.

Answers: 1) The golden arches 2) A golden ticket 3) The Golden Girls 4) Golden Globes 5) A golden parachute 6) Golden calf 7) Golden Corral 8) Goldeneye 9) Golden Week 10) Golden ratio 11) Golden apple 12) Golden Delicious.

Ask Me Another airs on more than 400 NPR stations.

Credit: Gold image by istara [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.