Foley_Wells

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Oct. 28: Back in the day, country labels would pair singers on their rosters and release duet records. Sometimes those impromptu acts would catch fire, as when Loretta Lynn lost Ernest Tubb as an occasional singing partner and gained Conway Twitty. Sometimes they wouldn’t. Here’s one that did, as “One By One” gave Kitty Wells the second No. 1 record of her short career and Red Foley his 10th in 1954.

Foley and Wells would place two more duets into the Billboard Top 5 over the next two years, and they made an album together in the late 1960s, near the end of Foley’s life. Their label, Decca, was particularly active in the duet-making game. Wells would later be paired with Webb Pierce and Roy Drusky; Foley’s other singing partners included Ernest Tubb, Lawrence Welk and Evelyn Knight.

Foley (“Mr. Country Music,” 1910-1968) and Wells (“the Queen of Country Music,” born 1919) were key figures in the genre, and both are in the Hall of Fame. Follow the links to read their profiles.

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