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16 July 2007 @ 05:14 am

"Storms never last, do they baby

Bad times will pass with the winds

Your hand in mine steals the thunder

You make the sun want to shine

"I followed you down so many roads, baby

I picked wild flowers and sang you soft sweet songs

Every road we took, God knows our search was for the truth

And the storm brewing now won't be the last"

- Jessie Colter

In 1981 Waylon Jennings and his wife Jessie Colter released a duet called 'Storms Never Last'. It was a song that Jessie had written, and it became a staple of their live shows. An interesting thing about the song is that none of the lines rhyme. As Waylon once said, each line stands on its own.

Their son, Shooter, said that as a child he would sit off-stage as they performed it and that they would always look directly into each other's eyes as they sang the song each night.

While listening to it over the weekend, I was thinking how cool it must have been for Waylon to have a song like that to sing at his shows for 20 years (unless he and Jessie were having an argument, in which case it would have sucked). Not only was it a departure from his usual rough & rowdy stuff, but it's a great thing to have in a live show. While Johnny Cash and June Carter always sang 'Jackson' in their shows, it wasn't a song that symbolized their love. And Roger Miller also had a song that he sang near the end of his career with his wife, but it honestly wasn't that great of a song.

So, I started thinking about the whole duets thing, and how it's a fine line you have to walk if you want it to have any impact. For example, if you're an act like Steve and Eydie, most of your tunes are about being in love, so there's not one song that stands out in the show. While on the flip side, Marvin Gaye had so many great duets with Tammi Terrell when they performed together that they also didn't have one primary song. Of course, the weirdest duet route to take is the father/daughter romantic love song approach (Frank & Nancy Sinatra with "Somethin' Stupid", Rufus & Carla Thomas "'Cause I Love You") - great songs, but VERY creepy!

Anyway, after listening to Waylon and Jessie, I was thinking about the fact that I really have got to write one of those duet love songs! But just one. And it will become a staple of my repertoire ... Of course, I'll first have to have a woman I can sing it to ... and who can sing well herself... and who sounds good in harmony with me ... and who looks good in cowboy boots .. and in a cute little cowboy hat... Oh, yeah, and who's in love with me... and who I'm in love with...

On second thought, writing a pretty love song is the least of my problems. But I'm gonna get started on it anyway.

So, until pigs fly across the frozen wasteland that is hell, here's to Waylon & Jessie!