Monday, November 29, 2010


After smoldering around Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazelwood moved on to another sex symbol, Ann-Margret. This version of "The Cowboy and the Lady" yielded an album by that name, but no truly memorable hit…although "Dark End of the Street" is pretty vivid stuff.

The mentally uneven James Carr originally recorded it in 1967, and Elvis Costello breathed new life into it (while saluting king James' version) by covering it on his "Kojak Varieties" CD.

Most versions of this tortured torch ballad have been sung by a guilty man (Joe Tex and Percy Sledge also covered it) or tormented woman (include Aretha Franklin and Linda Ronstadt). But duos? Not too often. In fact there are only two that are well respected.

At this point it's hard to say who got there first…Hazlewood and Ann-Margret, or Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner. But the clear favorite lasting the test of time is the former. They're a lot grittier and sexier about it. Besides, how in the world could you sneak Dolly Parton anywhere without people knowing??

Eventually Lee found other singing partners, using Nina Lizell and Suzi Jane Hokom and not Stockholm-born Ann-Margret (Olsson) on his 1970 "Cowboy in Sweden" album. He even worked his way back to Nancy Sinatra (you'll find the sensational "She Won't" elsewhere on this blog). But the combo of Lee and Ann-Margret deserves more acknowledgement, and so here's a sampe of Lee Ann rhymes...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best duet of this I've ever heard was by the reliably outstanding Richard and Linda Thompson, 'way back when. Easily found.