Saturday, April 04, 2009

Harmonizer harmonizer

My admiration and love of Dolly Parton's music is one of those things that is fairly well documented around these parts. I've written many a post on her in the past and I'm sure there will be many more to come. But one of Dolly's most underappreciated talents is her absolutely amazing ability to harmonize with just about anyone. I was listening to a song that she recorded with Sonya Isaacs called "The Angels Rejoiced" tonight and I was once again reminded of her amazing ability to harmonize. She is just a natural at it, effortlessly finding the harmony and, in her own Dolly fashion, making it seem like it is the melody.

There are countless examples of this and while Google searching "The Angels Rejoiced," I came across an Listmania collection of Dolly rarities, including many songs on which Dolly has either dueted or provided backing harmonies. Part one is here, and part two is here - it seems quite exhaustive. Some of my personal favorites are her presence on Rhonda Vincent's "Heartbreaker's Alibi," Mindy Smith's cover of her own "Jolene," and Norah Jones' "Creepin' In."

But perhaps my favorite is her unlikely 90s duet with Culture Club. Called "Your Kisses Are Charity," it simply must be heard to be believed. (yes, it's a lip synced performance, but I'll take what I can get.)

I especially love her vocals from about 2:09 on - the harmonies just give me chills, although now that I think about it, they are not really harmonies, but you get my meaning. There is also a god-awful lot of stomping going on in that live performance!

All this has prompted me to make a playlist of Harmonizer Dolly. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, here is her Dolly-ness with Norah Jones.

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