The Complete '60s Duets

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
In 1965, Musicor Records had the brilliant idea of pairing two of the label's top-selling artists for a duet record. It didn't really matter that the dramatic delivery of pop singer Gene Pitney and the smooth voice of country crooner George Jones weren't the most logical pairing -- the very novelty of the act made it worth doing, since it could sell records. And sell records it did, resulting in a handful of country hits during the course of 1965. The fact that these singles charted on the country side of the fence, not the pop, illustrates that it was Pitney who bent to Jones' way, heading down to Nashville to record with Jones' manager/producer, Pappy Daily. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
In 1965, Musicor Records had the brilliant idea of pairing two of the label's top-selling artists for a duet record. It didn't really matter that the dramatic delivery of pop singer Gene Pitney and the smooth voice of country crooner George Jones weren't the most logical pairing -- the very novelty of the act made it worth doing, since it could sell records. And sell records it did, resulting in a handful of country hits during the course of 1965. The fact that these singles charted on the country side of the fence, not the pop, illustrates that it was Pitney who bent to Jones' way, heading down to Nashville to record with Jones' manager/producer, Pappy Daily. They recorded two sessions in 1965 -- one in January, one in June -- cutting several standards and several new tunes, highlighted by Ted Daffan's "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night," which peaked at 16 on the country charts. These sessions, a total of 17 songs, are collected on Varese's 2005 compilation George Jones & Gene Pitney: The Complete '60s Duets. All the passing years haven't made the pairing of Jones and Pitney any less strange: Pitney never sounds like a natural fit with Jones and country music, and his high, keening voice always winds up being the center of attention, even when he tries to just ease into the proceedings. That doesn't mean he's a bad fit, though -- he's a sympathetic duet partner and picks up the nuances of country vocal delivery, and he sounds comfortable here. Of course, Jones also sounds comfortable -- he never sounded awkward in his entire career unless you count High-Tech Redneck -- and the music is good, straight-ahead '60s commercial country. Apart from "I've Got Five Dollars," there are no classics and it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is a bit of novelty, but this is still enjoyable music for fans of either George Jones or Gene Pitney. For those who already own Bear Family's 1994 compilation George Jones & Gene Pitney, this isn't necessary: that set contains all 17 duets, plus 13 country tunes cut by Pitney during 1965, as well as Jones' 1965 hit "Love Bug."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/29/2005
  • Label: Varese Fontana
  • UPC: 030206664225
  • Catalog Number: 066642

Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Jones Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Doug Kershaw Composer
Roy Acuff Composer
George Jones Composer
Jim Eanes Composer
Eddie Dean Composer
Hal Blair Composer
Jenny Carson Composer
Pappy Daily Audio Production
Lorene Dean Composer
Dorsey M. Dixon Composer
Carlos Grier Composer
Cary E. Mansfield Producer
Lee Ross Composer
Ervin T. Rouse Composer
Wayne Walker Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Ted Daffan Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Arlie Duff Composer
Vaughn Horton Composer
Syd Nathan Composer
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Steve Massie Producer, Mastering
Darrell Edwards Composer
Morry Burns Composer
Wade Perry Composer
Hank Mills Composer
Jimmie Hodges Composer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Unusual duet pairing works well

    Jones has probably had stranger singing partners in his lengthy career, but on its surface, this pairing with 1960s pop star Gene Pitney ("It Hurts to Be in Love" "Town Without Pity") seems to be one of the oddest. Even more surprising is how effectively Pitney lent himself to country material, and how well his tenor blended with and complimented Jones. Brought together in 1965 by Musicor, their then-shared record label, they recorded this fetching collection of ballad and up-tempo covers with many of Nashville's studio regulars, including The Jordanaires. ¶ Highlights include a rousing version of the Faron Young hit "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night," the hillbilly harmonies of "Y'all Come," and an Everly Brothers styled duet on Moon Mullican's late-40s ballad "Sweeter than the Flowers." Pitney didn't so much mimic Jones' style as he mediated his own pop tendencies in providing support for the country legend's phrasings and bends. Varese's disc pulls together all 17 tracks recorded by the duo, comprising a minor chapter in each star's chart lives, but a unique and surprisingly worthwhile corner of their musical careers.

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