Earl Thomas Conley

American country music singer-songwriter

Earl Thomas Conley (October 17, 1941 – April 10, 2019)[1] was an American country music singer-songwriter known for many hit records, including his 1981 top hit "Fire and Smoke" ("...what a rush I got..."). Between 1980 and 2003, he recorded ten studio albums, including seven for the RCA Records label. He had more than 30 hit records, along with his hit-single "Holding Her and Loving You". As a songwriter, he also wrote popular songs for other singers, with Mel Street's number 13 hit "Smokey Mountain Memories" or Conway Twitty's song "This Time I've Hurt Her More".[2]

Earl Thomas Conley
Born(1941-10-17)October 17, 1941
Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S.
OriginDayton, Ohio, U.S.
DiedApril 10, 2019(2019-04-10) (aged 77)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
InstrumentsVocals, Guitar
Years active1974–2019
LabelsGRT, Warner Bros., Sunbird, RCA
Associated actsKeith Whitley

Throughout his career, Conley's music was called the "thinking man's" country. This is because the narrator looks into the heart and soul of his characters in each song.[3]

Conley died on April 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee from problems caused by dementia at the age of 77.[4][5]


  1. Wood, Gerry. (1998). "Earl Thomas Conley". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 108.
  2. "Earl Thomas Conley - Biography by Tom Roland". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  3. Roland, Tom. "Earl Thomas Conley biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 September 2010.
  4. Earl Thomas Conley Dead: Country Legend Dies at 77
  5. Country singer Earl Thomas Conley, who sang 'Holding Her and Loving You,' dies at 77