"It's Only Make Believe" is a song written by drummer Jack Nance and Mississippi-born singer Conway Twitty, while both were touring across Ontario, Canada in 1958. The song was recorded on May 7 for MGM Records; produced by Jim Vienneau, it featured Floyd ďLightniníĒ Chance on double bass. It was released on side B of "I'll Try" on July 14, 1958. Known as Harold Lloyd Jenkins until changing his name in 1957, Twitty was a relatively unknown rock n' roll singer at the time. That all changed when side B finally hit the chart in September, then made no. 1 twice, on November 10 and 24. The single topped both U.S. and the UK Singles Chart, and became the only #1 pop single of his career. Years later, on a segment of 'Pop Goes The Country', Twitty stated it was a hit in 22 different countries, and sold over 8 million copies. He did not become a country music star until he crossed over in 1966.
Though Twitty recorded subsequent versions of "It's Only Make Believe", his original 1958 hit never entered the Country & Western charts. He recorded a 1970 duet with Loretta Lynn, on their first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe. Twitty joins in on the last verse in a 1988 uptempo cover by Ronnie McDowell, which was a #8 hit on the country music charts. Additionally, Twitty contributed to an alternative cover by McDowell.