NASHVILLE — It could be argued that Conway Twitty, popularizer of such classics as "Hello Darlin' " and "It's Only Make Believe," is country music's most celebrated and durable journeyman.
Mr. Twitty, who appears tomorrow at the Baltimore Arena, doesn't possess the great vocal chops of George Jones, or the soulful songwriting genius of Willie Nelson. And, quite frankly, there's often been as much formula as art to his music.
Yet, by dint of his firm grasp of his audience's expectations and his sheer capacity for hard work, Mr. Twitty has outperformed all of the above-mentioned legends in the record charts.
At 56, Mr. Twitty tends to have considerably longer stretches between his chart-topping successes. But he's still more or less holding his own amid an ever-widening field of young contenders. He compares his role to being a doctor.
"People tend to be a little afraid of young doctors, but the longer a doctor has been around, the more people will trust him to deal with things," he says. "And it's the same with country music. You're dealing with feelings and emotions that are way down deep inside of people. They have to trust you."
This bond of trust and empathy between artist and fan has paid off immensely for Mr. Twitty over the years. He has parlayed his musical success into a hydra-headed corporate empire. But recently Mr. Twitty has been divesting himself of corporate holdings so he can become more deeply immersed in his music.
"One of the first things that suffered when I got preoccupied with all these other things was my songwriting," says Mr. Twitty. "I'm really looking forward to having the time again to get back to writing. I feel like I've still got a lot I want to say."
Where: Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St.
When: Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.