Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton
If there is a faintly chilly edge to this album, it’s understandable. In March 1979 Wagoner filed suit for breach of contract against longtime partner Dolly, who had gone solo with sensational success in 1974. Porter’s fancy getups don’t come cheap, so the amount he demanded—based, he said, on income he had lost since she left his show—was $13 million. The pair’s reunion for this LP was part of the settlement reached out of court earlier this year (the dollars were undisclosed). Backstage turmoil aside, this is an enjoyable record. There is still something pleasing about Dolly’s sweet-tart, breathy voice and Porter’s nasal tones. On cuts like Parton’s If You Say I Can and Beneath the Sweet Magnolia Tree, or Wagoner’s spiritual Singing on the Mountain, it’s easy to appreciate how they came to be one of Country-Western’s best teams, and how you don’t have to be in love with a partner to sing a convincingly romantic duet.