Earl Thomas Conley (born October 17, 1941, in Portsmouth, Ohio) is an American country music singer-songwriter. Between 1980 and 2003, he recorded ten studio albums, including seven for the RCA Records label. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, Conley also charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which eighteen reached Number One. Conley's eighteen Billboard Number One country singles during the 1980s marked the most Number One hits by any artist in any genre during that decade.
When Conley was 14, his father lost his job, forcing the young boy to move in with his older sister. He was offered a scholarship to an art school, but rejected it in favor of joining the U.S. Army. After being honorably discharged from the military, he began playing in clubs in Nashville, Tennessee, at night, supporting himself working blue-collar jobs during the day.
Feeling that he wasn't making any progress in Nashville, Conley moved to Huntsville, Alabama to work in a steel mill. There, he met record producer Nelson Larkin, who helped him sign with independent record label GRT in 1974. Conley released four singles on that label, none of which became large hits. At the same time, he was selling songs that he had written to other artists, including Conway Twitty and Mel Street, who were having much success with them.
Conley returned to Nashville, now writing for Nelson Larkin's publishing house. In 1979, he signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. Two years later, he had his first Top 40 hit, "Dreamin's All I Do". He left the label in 1979 and joined Sunbird Records, where he again worked with Nelson Larkin. This time, Conley found success, with a Top Ten and a Number One single within the next two years. He continued to have success over the next few years, and in 1983, he was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards for his song "Holding Her and Loving You". He set a record the following year as the first artist in any genre to have four Number One singles from the same album.
By the end of the 1980s, Conley began collaborating with Randy Scruggs (son of legendary country singer Earl Scruggs), in the hopes that he could bring his music back to his country roots. His record sales began to drop in the 1990s, as country music took a more traditional turn, and Conley was dropped from his record label in 1992. He continued to tour throughout the 1990s, but was without a recording contract for most of that time. He began recording again in 1998.
In 2002, Blake Shelton charted in the Top 20 with "All Over Me," which Conley co-wrote with Shelton and songwriter Mike Pyle.