Loretta Lynn is no stranger to duets. She recorded eleven studio albums with Conway Twitty and collaborated with alt-rocker Jack White on her groundbreaking 2004 album Van Lear Rose. But back in 1973, Lynn shared tunes with someone else who was pretty far removed from her hometown of Butcher Holler, Kentucky: Dean Martin.
In this classic clip from the Dean Martin Show, Lynn joins the Rat Pack member for a medley of songs, beginning with Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’.” Lynn also performs her Shel Silverstein-penned hit “One’s On the Way.” Singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall also joins the pair to sing “Ravishing Ruby.”
Although Lynn and Martin make a great singing duo, according to Lynn’s autobiography Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner’s Daughter, it wasn’t all smiles on set.
Lynn writes that the variety show’s producers wanted her to sit in Martin’s lap for a portion of their duet. But Loretta wasn’t having it.
“I said no, I wasn’t raised to sit in other men’s laps, not even for television,” Lynn writes. “All these Hollywood people were looking at me like I was crazy. I didn’t care. I know what’s right and wrong and I wasn’t sitting on Dean Martin’s lap.”
This wasn’t the first time Martin teamed up with someone from the country realm. In 1967, beloved Grand Ole Opry and Hee Haw comedian Minnie Pearl came all the way from Grinder’s Switch, Tenn. to appear on the Dean Martin Show to deliver her signature “Howdyyyyy!,” make a record and do a little flirting. As always, Minnie was just so proud to be there.
Although Martin is not known as a country singer, he seemed to have a deep love and understanding of the genre. Martin’s 1963 album, Dean “Tex” Martin: Country Style, includes covers of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”