A Conway Twitty Tribute Generations in The Making

Musicians Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn created a lasting legacy with their iconic duets. Now their grandchildren—Tre Twitty and Tayla Lynn—are carrying on the families’ tradition. Here, Tre explains how the collaboration came to be, and the importance of not trying to fill their grandparents’ shoes

WELL, every year, Loretta does a show for my grandfather called Remembering Conway out at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, and for years, my dad and I would do it. Then a couple of years ago, Loretta fell ill, and she couldn’t do the shows anymore. So I was doing it out there, and Tayla was backstage hanging out, and we started talking about this, that and the other. I had kind of gotten out of the singing game, but she was still singing, and we kicked around the idea that people might get a kick out of her and me keeping this music alive. Going out on the road and telling the stories of Loretta and Conway’s friendship. Singing the songs. Telling why they wrote these songs and what these songs mean. Trying to describe Conway as a grandparent and as a father and Loretta as a grandmother and a mother—more than just the iconic artists that they are. So we booked a show in Missouri or something, just to see how it would go, and people just went crazy for it.

You know, Conway’s been gone so long now that people just miss his music so much. And the Loretta and Conway connection is just such a powerful thing that people just love that. Then they see Tayla and me up there together, and we have the same kind of chemistry that Loretta and Conway had, the same kind of personalities and whatnot. So it comes across that that Twitty and Lynn connection is a genetic thing.

If you think about [filling his shoes] too much, it’ll eat you up. I tell people, Look, nobody sings Conway’s songs better than Conway Twitty. Not his grandson, not anybody. So if you’re coming out here to hear a carbon copy of Conway, that’s not what this show is about. The show is a celebration of him and telling his story, and trying to give a behind-the-scenes view of what he was like as a grandfather and a father, a man and an artist. Conway, he never talked onstage. He didn’t do many interviews, so people don’t know much about him. So I’ll get up there, and I’ll talk about a song and tell why he picked this song, or why this song meant so much to him or why he wrote this song. Tayla’s the same way with Loretta. It’s the same kind of thing. We’re not impersonators is what I’m trying to say. We’re just keepers of the flame.

Tre and Tayla will be performing at The Delta Roots Country Festival: A Tribute to Conway Twitty on April 27, in downtown Helena.