When the chemistry is there, it’s there from day one. The pairing of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton was electric, and all of the elements that made it work were clearly evident on their first single.
The harmonies on the chorus and the conversational verses were an instant blueprint for the rest of their work together. They’d go on to release many great duets, but it rarely got better than “The Last Thing On My Mind.”
Their breezy, casual indifference as they claim they never meant to hurt each other is so much more powerful than a sincere delivery would’ve been.
Written by Bob Paxton
Listen: The Last Thing On My Mind
The song was originally recorded by writer Paxton and there have been at least another 45 covers since. I have “sincere delivery” versions by the Chad Mitchell Trio, Jose Feliciano and Neil Diamond and have heard it by Paxton, Peter, Paul and Mary and others so the Dolly-Porter version sounds a bit strange to me. I confess to never hearing a Dolly-Porter song before. When “Last Thing” was a hit for them in ’67, country music was the last thing I’d ever listen to. It wasn’t cool.
electrifying chemistry between two does matters and when it comes to music it is amazing
Porter & Dolly were the best male-female pairing ever, a case where the end result was truly greater than the sum of the individual parts
Although I don’t care for his politics, I always appreciated Tom Paxton as a songwriter – this song was his initial exposure to country audiences and led to some more of his material being recorded by country artists
I enjoy the Paxton, Mitchell Trio and Glen Campbell versions far more than I do the duet, and I like both Dolly and Porter
Thank you so much for doing these retro single reviews. I had never heard this song before even though I am a Dolly fan and now I really like this song.