October 22, 1979 12:00 PM

Louise Mandrell and R.C. Bannon

Like big sister Barbara (see next item), Louise Mandrell, 25, grew up surrounded by music. (Their father ran a music store in California and later formed a family band that toured the Orient.) Louise has worked as a back-up singer with Merle Haggard, but this is her first LP. It is the second for Bannon, Louise’s second husband and a country composer whose best known tune was Ronnie Milsap’s hit, Only One Love in My Life. There ought to be more; the couple is easily the best new country & Western duet since Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius. While neither is an overpowering soloist, Bannon and Mandrell sound as if they’re really singing to each other, unlike many star matchups. In a consistently good album, their revivals of B.J. Thomas’ old hit, Hooked on a Feeling, Joe Tex’s I Want To (Do Everything for You), and the classic I Thought You’d Never Ask stand out. The Bannons’ problem now is to avoid the fate of so many married duos—splitting up.

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