by Julian Spivey
I saw online that today would have been the great Conway Twitty’s 82nd birthday. I decided, as I frequently do in tribute to artists on their birthdays, to break out my Conway Twitty vinyl tonight.
I don’t view Twitty as the larger than life country music legend that I do Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson, but I can tell you he sounds better and better every time I hear him and when you’re in the right mood he’s hard to beat.
The one Twitty song that’s always been my go to Twitty jam is “You’ve Never Been This Far Before.” It has to be, without a doubt, the sexiest (or dirtiest depending on your point of view) song to ever become a country music hit. The song topped the country music charts in 1973 and can still be heard occasionally on classic country stations.
Twitty has always been known for his sensual and sexy songs like “Hello Darlin’” and “Lay You Down” – it’s pretty much his thing. He was the first real panty dropper in country music history and still makes country heartthrob Luke Bryan look like an immature little brat. But, “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” seems to take things even further in its unadulterated sultry-ness. The song is, after all, about making love to a virgin and how great of a feeling that can be.
Take not of some of these almost X-rated lyrics, especially for 1973: “And I can feel your body tremble/As you wonder what this moment holds in store/And as I put my arms around you/I can tell you’ve never been this far before/I don’t know what I’m saying/As my trembling fingers touch forbidden places/I only know that I have waited/For so long for the chance that we are taking.”
I hate to come off as too obscene or explicit, but you’d almost expect the lines “And as I slide myself inside you/I can tell you’ve never been this far before” to follow. Maybe that was in the original cut of this song Twitty wrote himself and didn’t make it to the record …
Seriously, with these racy lyrics and Twitty’s one-of-a-kind sultry voice you can’t help but think this record would’ve gotten an “explicit lyrics” sticker placed upon its record sleeve if such a thing existed when “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” was released.
Unsurprisingly the song was banned from some radio stations throughout the country upon its release for the verses listed above, but that didn’t stop it from going to No. 1. Controversy has always sold well, I guess.
It’s interesting how past generations often complain that today’s popular songs are too dirty or explicit and then you find a gem of a song like this that’s more than 40 years old. Just ask your grandmother how she felt when she heard the baddest pimp in the history of country music lay this one down. I defy you to find any country hit from the last few years that’s this explicit, and even if you could there’s no way in hell it would sound this good. That’s because there was only one Conway Twitty.