Gone Country: Collaborations
A weekly column about all things country.Posted by Melissa Daniels
Award show time is always one of my favorite times of the year…especially seeing as they’re pretty much scattered throughout the year between the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and MTV Awards. There’s almost always something to look forward to! And naturally, one of this girl’s favorites is the CMT Awards!
The CMT Awards are just around the corner (June 6th @ 8pm on CMT), and I’ve been anxiously awaiting, twiddling my thumbs, just dying to watch the live performances and see who will take home the CMT for Video of the Year. It’s pretty stiff competition this year, but I’m giving my vote to Miranda Lambert for “Over You.” It’s a beautifully shot video! (apologies to my country husband, Jason Aldean, for not picking you…)
Since we’re still two weeks out from this year’s CMTs, I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the best country collaborations of late and throughout country history. The genre has a rich history of duets and talented couples. I’ve tossed in some of the greats and capped off with some more current records that I simply love, some of which are up for CMT Awards this year. Believe me, there are plenty more on my favorite collaborations list, but here’s a taste of some of country royalty, and a few to get you in the CMT spirit.
Check out my list below:
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: “Oh What a Good Thing We Had”
It’s hard to pick a favorite collaboration from Johnny and June, but “Oh What a Good Thing We Had” would be at the top of my list for this duo. The acoustic rhythm piano is really what gets me on this record. As stand alone artists, each has a unique charisma, but together it’s red hot country gold. Originally released in 1967, this song about a breakup helps keep the situation light while reminiscing about all the good times they had … gone bad.
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: “Take Me”
“When we were on stage, we were in our own little heaven,” said Jones of singing with Wynette. The couple, most widely recognized for their records The Ceremony (1972) and We’re Gonna Hold On (1973), were married for seven years before ending their union due in large part to their volatile relationship. Jones suffered from alcoholism, however the two remained close even after being divorced. They continued to perform and record together through 1980. In 1995, they recorded One, a reunion album.
Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty: “Lead Me On”
This is one of the classic country duos, singing one of my personal favorites, “Lead Me On.” After years of incredible solo careers, the pair formed a professional partnership in 1971. For four consecutive years thereafter, the Country Music Association honored the pair with the “Vocal Duo of the Year” award. The Academy of Country Music voted them “Best Vocal Duet” for four years as well. Together they produced five Number One singles and an additional seven Top Ten hits, locking them in as the most successful country duo in country music history.
Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars: “Safe & Sound”
(CMT Awards Nominee)
I’ve never heard Taylor’s voice sound so pure. And to match it up with the incredible harmonies The Civil Wars are known for … this is country music magic in its purest vocal form.
Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson: “Don’t You Wanna Stay”
(2010 CMT Award Winner)
I couldn’t have picked a more perfect collaboration for this song. Powerful lyrics need powerful voices, and Kelly Clarkson brings just the right amount of kick to Jason Aldean’s “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” I can’t imagine a different female vocal laid down on this track.
Kenny Chesney feat. Grace Potter: “You and Tequila”
(CMT Awards Nominee)
Grace Potter is known for her rough around the edges sound, but in “You and Tequila” she softens it up with country’s token beach boy, Kenny Chesney. Together, the two make you want to grab a bottle of tequila and have a lusty rendezvous with your other half.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: “I Need You”
(2008 Grammy Award Nominee)
Tim and Faith are country royalty. And “I Need You” is a little bit of a switch up from the typical power ballads they’re known for. Released in 2007, this record is a stripped down version of what I think is this duo at their best.
Dierks Bentley feat. Patty Griffin: “Beautiful World”
Patty Griffin has a pure country sound that is reminiscent of Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. Mix that with Dierks Bentley’s backwoods bluesy vocals, and you’ve got “Beautiful World,” a sound so sweet.