Music

Meet Conway Twitty's Musically Talented Children

Joni Twitty, left, Kathy Twitty, center, and Michael Twitty, right, the children of the late-Conway Twitty, are shown during the first-ever ACM Honors, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and non-televised categories from the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which was held earlier this year, as they gathered at the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in Nashville, Tenn. Joni received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award for her late father. (Bill Waugh / AP Images for ACM)

Like Merle Haggard, Charley Pride and other superstar peers, Conway Twitty passed his talents on to multiple children.

Twitty fathered four children across two marriages, with at least three of his kids (son Michael and daughters Joni Lee and Kathy) showing promise over the years as country singers. Jimmy Twitty, his fourth child (and third with second wife Temple "Mickey" Medley), seems content away from the country music spotlight, so we'll focus on his older siblings.

Michael Twitty

Conway married his first wife, Ellen Matthews, in 1953. The couple married at a young age because Matthews was pregnant with a son, Michael.

A chip off the old block, Michael has been a country music singer since at least the '70s. Back then, he cut at least two singles for Capitol Records ("Mississippi Rolling Stone" and "The Closest Thing to You"). He also recorded several singles, including a version of "The Gambler," under the name Charlie Tango. His 1984 album Ramblin' Man (Twitty City Records) features Conway as producer and guest vocalist.

Since then, Michael has become a tribute act to his late father. Whether he's nailing "Hello Darlin'" as a solo act or recreating one of the all-time great duet pairings alongside Loretta Lynn's granddaughter Tayla Lynn, Michael honors the music of a well-rounded entertainer.

Michael's son Tre keeps his grandfather's music alive as well by taking his family's timeless songs on the road.

Joni Twitty

Conway's daughter Joni Lee, his first of three children with Medley, has been her dad's best-known musical heir since the '70s.

At age 16, Joni sang two songs with her dad: "Don't Cry Joni" and No. 1 country hit "Touch The Hand." Joni was one of just three duet partners to score hits with her dad--The others being Lynn and Ronnie McDowell.

A 1976 full-length solo album on MCA Records followed, but it failed to replicate the success of her father-daughter duets.

Joni went on to marry singer-songwriter and Nashville session musician John Wesley Ryles.

Read More: Charley Pride's Forgotten, Island-Flavored Number One Hit, 'You're My Jamaica'

Kathy Twitty

Joni's sister Kathy also chased solo stardom before settling into a tribute act role. That's an okay thing, because who better to celebrate (unless you want to don a Dolly Parton wig and belt out her best country songs)?

Like Michael, Kathy recorded under a stage name (Jessica James). Her run as Jessica is immortalized in the above clip from the series Pop! Goes The Country. She was good in that role yet great when furthering the family business by performing "Linda On My Mind" and other Conway classics.

At one point, Kathy performed in The Next Generation, a collection of country music artists' kids including Lynn's daughter Peggy, Johnny Cash's daughter Cathy and George Jones and Tammy Wynette's daughter Georgette.

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Meet Conway Twitty's Musically Talented Children