Friday, July 17, 2015

Dazzling Duets By Dynamic Duos: Pre-1980

I have to admit that I don't feel nearly as excited about this set of songs as I did about the previous three. Partly, it's because most of the songs are "before my time." And partly because, well, I like the '80s and '90s songs just a little bit better. But I gave it my best effort with these, and I do believe I came up with quite a few good ones. Enjoy!  ~  JH

1)  Elton John & Kiki Dee  ~  "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"  (This feels like an '80s song, which may explain why I like it so much. Sure, it's cheesy as all-get-out, but it's still a nice tune.)

2)  Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong  ~  "Dream A Little Dream Of Me"  (I LOVE this! Louis Armstrong has always been one of my favorites, especially among jazz artists. This classic duet with Ella has not aged a bit since it was recorded some 60+ years ago.)

3)  Betty Hutton & Howard Keel  ~  "Anything You Can Do"  (Nice battle-of-the-sexes kinda song – I believe it's from the musical Annie Get Your Gun, if memory serves me.)

4)  George Jones & Tammy Wynette  ~  "Golden Ring"  (Well, this is awkward... George & Tammy had not been too long divorced when they paired up again to sing this song about...marriage. It's a classic, though!)

5)  John Denver & Karen Carpenter  ~  "Comin' Thro' The Rye / Good Vibrations (Medley)"  (I had no idea two of my favorite easy-listening artists ever did a duet. It wasn't necessarily a big hit or anything, and actually appears to be a clip from a Carpenters television special. But the novelty of it, and their paired voices of course, makes it worth a listen.)

6)  Doris Day & Gordon MacRae  ~  "By The Light Of The Silvery Moon"  (Fair warning: You're going to be seeing quite a bit of Gordon MacRae in this post. Here he teams up with Doris Day in a scene from a movie which shares the title of this song.)

7)  John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John  ~  "You're The One That I Want"  (Oh, come on! You knew THIS song would be here, didn't you? Several folks suggested it, but I've gotta dedicate this one to my wife Mary, as Grease is another of her all-time favorite movies.)

8)  Marni Nixon & Rex Harrison  ~  "Without You"  (Hate to break it to you, but that is not Audrey Hepburn singing. It's the voice of Marni Nixon, professional "ghost singer," that you hear. That being said, it's a great tune from an even better movie!)

9)  Patti Page & Jo Stafford  ~  "Accentuate The Positive"  (This isn't an all-time great duet or anything – in fact, it's probably a one-off pairing from a Patti Page TV special – but it does feature two great singers from the 1950s [or thereabouts], and the song itself was pretty popular as well.)

10)  Neil Diamond & Barbra Streisand  ~  "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"  (I like this one a lot, too. The stark contrasts between Neil's and Barbra's voices really make this one work, especially considering the subject of the song.)

11)  Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell  ~  "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"  (These two had quite a few #1 hits as a duo, but I only picked one – mainly because there aren't too many high-quality videos of them singing to be found out there in YouTubeLand.)

12)   Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers  ~  "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"  (This is a wonderful song, truly an all-time great, but really...who says, "Puh-TOT-oh"? Come on!)

13)  Shirley Jones & Gordon MacRae  ~  "People Will Say We're In Love"  (Apparently, audiences just couldn't get enough of Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in the mid-'50s. Here they teamed up in the film version of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma!)

14)  Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty  ~  "After The Fire Is Gone"  (Here's another classic country-music duo who had any number of songs to choose from. Again, I just picked one – mostly because this was one of their best-known duets.)

15)  Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway  ~  "Where Is The Love?"  (Due to Donny's death – an apparent suicide at the height of his career – there are few extant videos of him singing, much less him singing with frequent duet partner [and much more well-known singer] Roberta Flack. So this one's only audio – but honestly, do you care? It's a gem!)

16)  Topol & Norma Crane  ~  "Do You Love Me?"  (From the musical Fiddler On The Roof, there's this neat little husband/wife duet [in the film, at least].)

17)  Michael Jackson & Diana Ross  ~  "Ease On Down The Road"  (I was peripherally aware that this song existed before researching for this post, but I had no idea either who sung it or that it originated from the 1970s The Wizard Of Oz musical adaption called The Wiz.)

18)  Marni Nixon & Betty Wand  ~  "A Boy Like That / I Have A Love"  (The actresses you see here are Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, but that's not them singing. Sorry to bust your bubble again! Good duet from West Side Story nonetheless, though.)

19)  Olivia Newton-John & Cliff Richard  ~  "Suddenly"  (Here's another one that really feels like an '80s song, but precedes that decade by about 2 years. The song is from the movie Xanadu, which starred Olivia, but I think this might just be a promotional music video and not an actual movie clip.)

20)  Julie Andrews & Christopher Plummer  ~  "Something Good"  (This all-too-brief duet from the stars of The Sound Of Music is still one of the more memorable songs in one of my favorite musicals.)

21)  Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra  ~  "Some Velvet Morning"  (This is one of those I-never-would-have-heard-of-this-if-not-for-resarching-for-this-post kind of songs. But it's a pretty good one!)

22)  Glen Campbell & John Denver  ~  "Don't It Make You Want To Go Home?"  (John Denver is like Kenny Rogers, in that he would – and did – sound good alongside any other capable singer. Glen Campbell is more than capable, though, so this is a really nice duet.)

23)  Shirley Jones & Gordon MacRae ~   "If I Loved You"  (It's Shirley and Gordon again, this time in the musical Carousel.)

24)  Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton  ~  "Just Someone I Used To Know"      (These two teamed up quite a few times on songs, both on recordings and on Porter's television show. This is one of their more well-known duets.)

25)  Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge  ~  "Help Me Make It Through The Night"  (My parents had a 45 record of this song, albeit by another artist, which I used to listen to quite a bit when I was younger – so I know this song well. I like this version even better than the one I listened to way back when.)

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