If you were a country music fan back in the 1980’s it was hard to not hear and like singer John Conlee. It seems like he was a huge radio favorite of the country radio program directors. Conlee released 11 studio albums between 1978 and 2004 and placed an amazing 32 singles on the national country charts. Kentucky born Conlee was a household name in country music and continues to tour even today.
Accordingly, Conlee is the only licensed mortician ever to have a #1 Country record, which does rather make one wary of a song called "Lady Lay Down," but fortunately this is a run of the mill, easy listening number.
Lady, lay down beside me
Wrap your love around me
I need you to stay
Don't turn away from me now
Lady, lay down
It was released in October 1978 as the second single from the album Rose Colored Glasses. The song was John Conlee's second country hit and his first of seven number ones on the country chart.
John Conlee: A Country Man Known for his Voice of Melancholy
One of the most respected vocalists to emerge during the urban cowboy era, John Conlee was known for his superb taste in material and his distinctively melancholy voice. Conlee was born and raised on a tobacco farm in Versailles, KY, in 1946, and took up the guitar as a child, performing on local radio at age ten. He went on to sing with the town barbershop chorus but didn't initially pursue music as a career, instead of becoming a licensed mortician. He also worked as a disc jockey at numerous area radio stations and made important industry connections via that area when he moved to Nashville in 1971.
Five years later, Conlee's demo tape got him a contract with ABC. He released a few singles but didn't find acceptance until 1978's "Rose Colored Glasses," a song he'd co-written with a newsman at his radio station, rocketed into the country Top Five. Conlee spent the next decade or so scoring hit after hit, nearly all of them helmed by producer Bud Logan. He had two number ones in 1979 alone -- "Lady Lay Down" and "Backside of Thirty" -- and four number two hits through 1981.
With the natural passion for country music, he dominated the charts with the renditions of his songs.
Never much for touring, Conlee subsequently curtailed his recording activities as well. He instead devoted his time to charity work, raising his family, and running his own farm outside Nashville.