Friday Five: Kitty Wells Duets
Every day is Kitty Wells Day at Engine 145 HQ, but we’re celebrating extra because today would have her 94th birthday. A few years ago, we made a list of her top five answer songs–she had an answer for everything–but for today’s Friday Five, we picked out a few of our favorite duets Wells sung on over the course of her career. What are yours?
Bonus Track: “How Far is Heaven” (with Carol Sue Wright)
Wells recorded this song in 1950, then released a new version in ’56 with her daughter playing the role of a young girl mourning the loss of her father. Not sad enough yet? Here’s Kitty, Johnnie, and Jack performing “The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus.”
5. “My World’s Losing You” (with Roy Drusky)
There’s no anger when Kitty and Roy sing “You were too afraid to love me like I wanted you to do,” just resigned sadness–and few singers do resigned sadness better than Kitty. (Don’t like this song? Here are some more Drusky and Wells recordings.)
4. “Goodbye, Mr. Brown” (with Roy Acuff)
Two old lovers meet again–only this time, they’re married to other people, so their romantic history must be forgotten “like ships that pass at night.” Sounds like they’re sailing on the Titanic.
3. “One By One” (with Red Foley)
This song, about a couple whose marriage dissolved a vow at a time, topped the charts in 1954.
2. “We’ll Stick Together” (with Johnnie Wright)
They sure did. Wells and Wright were married in 1937 and stayed that way until he died in September of 2011.
1. “Oh, So Many Years” (with Webb Pierce)
Wells recorded a handful of songs with Pierce–all of them quite good, which is unsurprising–but this sweetly sad one is my favorite by a long shot.
- Paul W Dennis: Tom T & Dixie Hall are good people and I wish them all the best through this difficult time
- Paul W Dennis: Actually , it is not. We have so thoroughly debased our language that it is no longer possible to praise …
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …