Thursday, October 08, 2009

Great duos

My reader (maybe the only one!) Private Beech suggested that I add a Great Duos to the recent blogs listing Great Female Singers and Great Girl Groups. Sounds like a good idea to me, so here is a list of the great duos of the 1950s and 1960s. I've included some duet pairings by established singers, but only where they made a real impact via one or two albums, not just one offs.
To kick off, here are the duos that Private Beech suggested: 1. Sam and Dave, 2. Inez and Charlie Foxx, 3. Rufus and Carla Thomas, 4. Otis and Carla, 5. The Sims Twins, 6. Maurice and Mac, 7. Everly Brothers, 8. Simon & Garfunkel, 9, Sonny and Cher.
And here are some more: 10. Jan & Dean, 11. Righteous Brothers, 12. James and Bobby Purify, 13. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, 14. Marvin & Mary Wells, 15. Marvin & Kim Weston, 16, Eddie & Ernie, 17. Pic & Bill, 18, Sam & Bill, 19. Bob & Earl, 20. Patterson Twins, 21, Mel & Tim, 22. Soul Sisters, 23. Clarence & Calvin, 24. Don & Dewey (pictured), 25 Mickey & Sylvia, 26. Shirley & Lee, 27. Don & Juan, 28. Ike & Tina Turner, 28. Dick & Deedee, 29. Gene & Eunice, 30 Nino Tempo & April Stevens, 31. Dale & Grace, 32. Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford, 33. Johnnie & Joe, 34 Patience & Prudence, 35. Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson, 36. Billie & Lillie, 37. Billy Vera & Judy Clay, 38. Betty Everett & Jerry Butler, 39. Delaney & Bonnie, 40. Kalin Twins, 41. Louis Prima & Keely Smith, 42. Chubby Checker & Dee Dee Sharp, 43. Rusty & Doug, 44. Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, 45. Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, 46. Brook Benton & Dinah Washington, 47. Paul & Paula, 48. Santo & Johnny, 49. Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown, 50. Judy Clay & William Bell, 51 Peaches & Herb, 52, Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood.
A pretty good list I think, and hard to keep it down to just 52.


At 1:07 pm , Blogger Private Beach said...

Not your only reader, I'm sure!

Les Paul and Mary Ford may be a bit before the time of most others listed, but they probably deserve a mention. And on the folkie side again, there's Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior - all of whom went on to play in larger units: Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle.

At 1:29 pm , Blogger Private Beach said...

Another thought - the Incredible String Band started as a trio, but made their most important records as a duo before adding their girlfriends to the band to make it a quartet. Others: Ian & Sylvia; Richard & Mimi Farina; and based on record sales, Wham!, though no one could ever work out what the other guy was there for...

One interesting thing about duos is how often they end in acrimony. Ike and Tina's story is well known; Sonny & Cher also divorced, as did Delaney and Bonnie; Sonny & Brownie didn't get on too well; the Everly Brothers also had famous feuds; and Sam and Dave were not on speaking terms during their final performances together.

At 3:49 pm , Blogger Dave C said...

(As your other reader!) I immediately thought of two of my favourite albums: ‘I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’ by Richard and Linda Thompson and the eponymously-titled album by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. I would have no hesitation in recommending these two duos for your list, except that I belatedly noticed that you have restricted this latest category to the 1950s and 1960s and they are both 1970s albums.

On the reggae front duos have been almost excessively popular, although it is harder to come up with names to fit your criteria as (apart from the fact that I couldn’t guarantee the decade) so many recorded singles rather than albums. However I would offer the following for consideration: The Blues Busters (Lloyd Campbell and Phillip James), Laurel Aitken and Girlie, Bob (Andy) and Marcia (Griffiths),and Derrick (Morgan) and Patsy (Todd).

Derrick Morgan has been prolific in the duo area, having also recorded with Pauline and Yvonne. This goes as well for Patsy, who recorded with Roy Shirley and Stranger Cole, who recorded with Gladdy (Gladstone Anderson) and Ken Boothe, who recorded with Roy Shirley and Lloyd Charmers. Another Lloyd, Lloyd Robinson, recorded with Devon Russell and Glen Brown, who recorded with Hopeton Lewis, who recorded with Phyllis Dillon, who recorded with Alton Ellis, who recorded with another Lloyd, Lloyd Williams. And so having started with a Lloyd, I have decided to finish with a Lloyd as the list of duos in reggae would probably go on forever.

At 4:33 pm , Anonymous Hornsey Howler said...

If you include Benton and Washington, you could also name Ray Charles and Betty Carter. From the blues there's Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy (or any of her other husbands), Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell.

At 4:31 am , Blogger Private Beach said...

If you're going to include reggae, there's Dave and Ansel Collins. Two of the greatest names in jazz, Ella and Louis, also recorded together. And back in the folk world, Robin and Barry Dransfield.


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