Con Hunley Biography

Conrad Logan Hunley, 9 April 1945, Fountain City, Tennessee, USA. The Hunley family were known as a local gospel singing group and from an early age Con appeared with them. He grew up an admirer of Chet Atkins and for a time sought to emulate his idol; however, he quickly realized that the guitar was not to be his instrument and instead turned his attention to the piano. Influenced by Ray Charles and singing somewhat like Charlie Rich, he began to play in groups during his high school years and during his time in the US Air Force, played in various bands. After his discharge he returned to his home in Knoxville, first working in a mill but soon found work in local country clubs.

In 1976, he formed his own band and recorded five singles for the minor Prairie Dust label. Some were his own compositions and three of the recordings became minor hits in the US country charts, helping to build his reputation. He decided to move to Nashville in 1977 and as a result of appearances at George Jones’Possum Holler, he managed to secure a contract with Warner Brothers Records. His first release on that label was Jimmy C. Newman’s song ‘Cry, Cry Darling’ which went to number 34 in the charts. He followed this with 11 successive Top 20 hits, including ‘Week End Friend’, ‘You’ve Still Got A Place In My Heart’, ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You All Of My Life’ (a pop hit for Paul Anka two years later) and in 1982, ‘Oh Girl’, which had been a number 1 pop hit for the Chi-Lites 10 years earlier. During the 80s the hits became less frequent. He recorded a version of ‘A Satisfied Mind’ that featured a guest vocal from Porter Wagoner (who had a hit with the song in 1955) and in 1986, he charted with ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (number 49) and ‘Quittin’ Time’ (number 55).

Hunley retired from music for a period and spent time organising charity golf tournaments and restoring antique cars. However, he returned to the business in the new millennium with an IMMI release, Sweet Memories.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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