Daily Double Top Five: Best Duets and Harmony Vocals

Porter Dolly Just Between You and MeOnce again, technical difficulties derailed yesterday’s Daily Top Five.  So we’re doubling down today.

Ever notice how the Vocal Event categories at country award shows honor harmony vocals as much as they do real, full-fledged duets?  The spiritual godfather of all of this is “You and I”, the not quite duet by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle, “You and I.”  But the modern trend goes back to the award-sweeping “It’s Your Love”, the not quite duet by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

So for today’s Daily Double Top Fives, we’re asking you to make the distinction that the award shows don’t.  What are your favorite five duets, which feature two artists actually trading off lines, and what are your favorite five “all-star” harmony vocals?

Here are mine:

Top Five Duets

  1. Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “The Last Thing on My Mind”
  2. Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, “After the Fire is Gone”
  3. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”
  4. Suzy Bogguss & Billy Dean, “Something Up My Sleeve”
  5. Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”

Top Five Harmony Vocals

  1. Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou Harris, “I Can’t Help it (If I’m Still in Love with You)”
  2. Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”
  3. Patty Loveless with George Jones, “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me”
  4. Vince Gill with Patty Loveless, “When I Call Your Name”
  5. Trisha Yearwood with Emmylou Harris, “Woman Walk the Line”


  1. duets:
    1. Suzy Bogguss & Billy Dean, “Something Up My Sleeve”
    2. Ty Herndon & Stephanie Bentley – “Heart Half Empty”
    3. Clint Black & Wynonna – “A Bad Goodbye”
    4. Mary Chapin Carpenter & Joe Diffie – “Not Too Much To Ask”
    5. Alison Krauss & Mart Rabon – “Somewhere In the Vicinity of the Heart”

    Harmony vocals:
    1. Trisha Yearwood & Raul Malo – “For Reasons I’ve Forgotten”
    2. Hal Ketchum & Leann Rimes – “In Front of the Alamo”
    3. Rosanne Cash & Vince Gill – “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me”
    4. Trisha Yearwood & Don Henley – “Inside Out”
    5. Sara Evans & Vince Gill – “No Place That Far”

  2. Duets
    1. Golden Ring – George Jones & Tammy Wynette
    2. Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer – Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes
    3. You And I – Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gayle
    4. Feelings – Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty
    5. Every Time Two Fools Collide – Kenny Rogers & Dottie West

    1. Telling Me Lies – Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou & Dolly
    2. Till I Gain Control Again – Crystal Gayle with Rodney Crowell
    3. Walkaway Joe – Trisha Yearwood with Don Henley
    4. My Love – Lionel Richie with Kenny Rogers
    5. Angry All The Time – Tim McGraw with Faith Hill

  3. Duets:

    1. Travis Tritt & Lari White, “Helping Me Get Over You”
    2. Reba McEntire & Vince Gill, “The Heart Won’t Lie”
    3. Lee Ann Womack & George Strait, “Everything But Quits”
    4. Clint Black & Martina McBride, “I’m Still Holding On”
    5. Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss, “The Angles Cried”


    1. Trisha Yearwood with Kelly Clarkson, “PrizeFighter”
    2. Mindy McCready with Richie McDonald, “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now”
    3. Miranda Lambert with Patty Loveless, “Dear Diamond”
    4. Wynonna Judd with Naomi Judd, “Flies On The Butter”
    5. Emmylou Harris with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, “To Know Him Is To Love Him”
    BONUS: The Mavericks with Trisha Yearwood, “Somethin’ Stupid”

    Too many to list here, but a Trisha Yearwood’s harmonies on just about every song Garth Brooks has recorded have led to some fantastic moments over the years.

    I also saw a fantastic YouTube clip not too long ago of Holly Dunn & Dolly Parton collaborating live on “Daddy’s Hands.” Their voices together, especially on that song, are pure magic.

  4. Duets
    Reba & Kelly Clarkson Because Of You
    Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss Whiskey Lullaby
    Tim McGraw & Faith Hill I Need You
    Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood Remind Me
    Reba & Kenny Chesney Every Other Weekend
    (Honorable Mention Ashley Monroe & Blake Shelton You Ain’t Dolly

    Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter You & Tequila
    Blake Shelton & Ashley Monroe Lonely Tonight
    Tim McGraw & Catherine Dunn Diamond Rings & Old Barstools
    David Nail & Sarah Buxton Let It Rain
    Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town Smoking & Drinking

    Solid Choice I must say Good Job Kevin

  5. Kevin, you say “What are your favorite five duets, which feature two artists actually trading off lines,…” I think that the “trading off lines” doesn’t always have to be there to qualify as a true duet. In “How’s the World Treating You”, Alison Krauss and James Taylor sing the entire song together, no trading off lines.

  6. I can’t think of anyone with better harmonies than the mother and daughter combination of Naomi & Wynonna. The Judds to me were the group that redefined the harmony and harmonizing in music. They are music’s (not just country music’s) standard barer for harmonizing and blending two voices together.

    Top 5 harmonies . . .
    1. The Judds: Mama He’s Crazy
    2. Trio (EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt): To Know Him Is To Love Him
    3. Brad Paisley with Dolly Parton: When I Get Where I’m Going
    4. The Judds: Young Love (Strong Love)
    5 (A). Trisha Yearwood with Don Henley: Walkaway Joe
    5 (B). EmmyLou Harris with Willie Nelson: One Paper Kid

    Top 5 duets . . .
    1. George Jones & Tammy Wynette: Golden Ring
    2. Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss: Whiskey Lullaby
    3. Honky Tonk Angels (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn & Tammy Wynette): Wings of a Dove
    4. Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson: Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
    5 (A). Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson: Pancho & Lefty
    5 (B). Keith Whitley & Earl Thomas Conley: Brotherly Love
    5 (C). Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash: Jackson

    Honorable mention . . .
    Alison Krauss & Keith Whitley: When You Say Nothing At All (While not a true duet, as it was spliced together in the 90’s by a radio DJ, it makes you wish they had done this song as an authentic duet. Find a copy of this record somewhere, it won’t disappoint).

  7. Duets:
    1. George Strait & Alan Jackson – “Designated Drinker”
    2. George Jones & Alan Jackson – “Good Year For The Roses”
    3. Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss – “Whiskey Lullaby”
    4. Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood – “In Another’s Eyes”
    5. Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack – “Mendocino County Line”

    1. Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton – “When I Get Where I’m Going”
    2. Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter – “You And Tequila”
    3. Josh Turner & Trisha Yearwood – “Another Try”
    4. Vince Gill & LeAnn Rimes – “What You Don’t Say”
    5. Garth Brooks & Steve Wariner – “Longneck Bottle”

  8. Duets:

    1. NEW PARTNER WALTZ–Linda Ronstadt and Carl Jackson
    2. C.C. WATERBACK–George Jones and Merle Haggard
    3. JACKSON–Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
    4. GOOD-HEARTED WOMAN (LIVE)–Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
    5. WE’LL SWEEP OUT THE ASHES IN THE MORNING–Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris

    1. I CAN’T HELP IT IF I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU–Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou Harris
    2. IN MY HOUR OF DARKNESS–Gram Parsons, with Linda & Emmylou
    3. HEARTBREAK KIND–Linda Ronstadt with Bernie Leadon (of the Eagles)
    4. I CAN’T GET OVER YOU–Linda Ronstadt with Ann Savoy
    5. INSIDE OUT–Trisha Yearwood with Don Henley

  9. When Dolly Parton harmonizes, it’s hard to remember that it’s just harmonies rather than a duet. I always have to remind myself that she’s only harmonizing on the Brad Paisley song, because it’s always a duet in my mind. I have an iTunes playlist of 447 Duets & Collaborations, so it’ll be tough to narrow my favorites down to 5 of each. This will be more like a sampling of my favorites rather than my top favorites. I could easily fill the harmonies list with songs that feature Vince Gill, but I’ll just choose one.:


    1. Ashley Monroe & Dwight Yoakam, “That’s Why We Call Each Other Baby”
    2. Kelly Willis & Robbie Fulks, “Parallel Bars”
    3. Vince Gill & Reba McEntire, “Oklahoma Swing”
    4. Buddy Jewel & Miranda Lambert, “Today I Started Loving You Again”
    5. John Prine & Iris Dement, “Inspite of Ourselves”


    1. Suzy Boggus with Vince Gill, “I Still Miss Someone”
    2. Patty Loveless with Dwight Yoakam, “Never Ending Song of Love”
    3. Josh Turner with Trisha Yearwood, “Another Try”
    4. Josua Radin with Patty Griffin, “You’ve Got Growin’ Up to Do”
    5. Lee Ann Womack with Keith Urban, “The Bees”

  10. And from the dusty 45 bin…

    Earnest Tubb and Merle Haggard – Walkin the Floor Over You
    Willie Nelson and Ray Charles – Seven Spanish Angels
    Patsy Cline and Jim Reeves – Have You Ever Been Lonely
    Waylon & Willie – Luckenbach, Texas
    Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn – You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly (sorry, just had to do that)

    Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton – We’ve Got Tonight
    Ed Bruce with himself singing an octave below – You Turn Me On (Like a Radio)
    John Denver and Emmylou Harris – Wild Montana Skies
    David Frizzell and Shelly West – You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma
    Johnny and June Carter Cash – Jackson

  11. Duets

    Carl & Pearl Butler – Don’t Let Me Cross Over
    Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton – The Last Thing On My Mind
    George Jones & Brenda Carter – Milwaukee Here I Come
    Loretta Lynn & Ernest Tubb – Sweet Thang
    Alison Krauss & Mart Raybon – Somewhere In the Vicinity of the Heart


    Really, there’s too many but I would single out Crystal Gayle’s harmonies doing trio work in the chorus of the Ray Price & Willie Nelson recording of “Faded Love” – just exquisite

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