John Wayne Conlee (born August 11, 1946) is an American country music singer. Between 1978 and 2004 Conlee charted a total of 32 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, and recorded 11 studio ablums. His singles include seven #1 hits: “Lady Lay Down,” Backside of Thirty,” ” Common Man,: ; Im Only in it for the Love,” ‘In My Eyes,” ” As Long As I;m Rockin with You” and Got My Heart Set On You.” In addition to these, Conlee sent 14 other songs into the Top Ten
Conlee was born on a tobacco farm in Versailles, Kentucky. By age 10, Conlee had begun singing and playing guitar , and later sang tenor in a barbershop quartet. Conlee did not immediately take up a musical career, instead becoming a licensed mortician employed by Duell-Clark Funeral Chapel, and later a disc jockey at radio station WLAC.
By 1971, he moved to Nashville Tennessee, in pursuit of a musical career, signing to ABC Records in 1976. Conlee charted for the first time in 1978 with “Rose Colored Glasses,” a No. 5 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs ) charts, as well as the title track to his 1978 debut album.This album would go on to produce his first two number one hits in “Lady Lay Down” and “Backside of Thirty.”
Following ABC’s merger with MCA Record, he released his 1979 album Forever on MCA. Its singles, “Before My Time” and “Baby, You’re Something,” respectively reached No. 2 and No. 7. A second MCA release, Friday Night Blues, produced two more No. 2 hits in the title track and “She Can’t Say That Anymore,” followed by the No. 12 “What I Had with You.” 1981’s With Love accounted for yet another No. 2 in “Miss Emily’s Picture.” John performed his song live on Hee Haw on January 3, 1981 with great reviews. In 2005, Conlee donated his performance of “Rose Colored Glasses” at a concert at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville to benefit the Lymphatic Research Foundation (New York). Conlee sang his signature song and auctioned off a pair of “rose colored glasses” with the proceeds going to LRF.
Conlee has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1981.
Conlee’s 1982 album Busted was led off by a cover of the Harlin Howard song of the same name; the album’s last single, “Common Man,” returned him to the top of the charts in 1983.] Three more number one hits came from In My Eyes: “I’m Only in It for the Love”, cowritten with Kix Brooks ; the title track; and “As Long as I’m Rockin’ with You.” MCA released a Greatest Hits album later in 1983.
Blue Highway in 1984, his last studio album for MCA, produced a No. 2 in “Years After You.” A year later, a second Greatest Hits package produced his last MCA single in the No. 5 “Old School” before he moved to Columbia Records . Conlee’s first Columbia release, Harmony, gave him his last number one hit in “Got My Heart Set on You” in 1986. A second and final album for Columbia, American Faces, took him into the Top 10 for the last time with “Domestic Life,” followed by his last Top 40 at No. 11, “Mama’s Rockin’ Chair.” From there, Conlee moved to 16th Avanue Records , releasing Fellow Travelers.