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5 great duets of the '80s

Kenny Rogers' concert last night at Kleinhans Music Hall made me nostalgic for the great overblown duets of the 1980s. Alas, there was no Dolly Parton or Sheena Easton present. Rogers made a stab at "Islands in the Stream," but it was brisk, and by himself.

My advice is, next time around, dump the violinist -- you could hardly hear her anyway -- and hire a female vocalist instead, and let's hear "Islands in the Stream" as the duet God clearly intended it to be. Plus we could hear "We've Got Tonight," which Rogers had to skip last night entirely.

CLASSIC Kenny Rogers performance of "We've Got Tonight," with Dolly Parton:

Are they born entertainers or what? That look on his face when he hears Dolly Parton's voice. Then the way she comes in with the two bodyguards. They see her all the way to the stage and Kenny puts out his hand and helps her up and the crowd goes wild.

And Dolly Parton, so beautiful. "Who needs Sheena Easton?" Too funny.

Other overblown '80s duets:

Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong." From the Richard Gere movie "An Officer and a Gentleman."

Unfortunately their mikes are stationary so you do not get the show biz you get with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. I am not sure Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes were capable of that kind of thing anyway. This whole performance seems to take itself kind of seriously.

Still, an unforgettable duet. Back in the day it was everywhere on the radio, everywhere.

"Somewhere Out There," from "An American Tail": Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram.

Unfortunately I cannot find a live performance of that one.

Here is dandy footage of Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville singing "All My Life."

They also had that other big hit, "Don't Know Much."

Isn't this fun? What other great duets from the '80s do we remember?

Michael McDonald and Patti LaBelle, "On My Own."

Good theatrics in this one! And there is that line about "Now we're getting a divorce, and we weren't even married!" Burt Bacharach wrote this one.

Ah, the great duets of the '80s.

Aaaaah.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

 

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