Retro Single Review: Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “Holdin’ On to Nothin'”

1968 | Peak: #7

A large part of the appeal of these classic duets is that it feels like you’re eavesdropping on a real couple.

The emotional honesty here is so raw that even the band knows to hold back and leave the singers front and center.  There’s no ironic detachment here; the feelings are truly being felt.

And just when you think that the title is being stretched too thin from overuse, and that perhaps there aren’t enough ideas here to finish the rest of the record, Parton sings, “I feel guilty when they envy me and you”, bringing a whole new level of pathos to the table.

Written by Jerry Chestnut

Grade: A-

Listen: Holdin’ On to Nothin’





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