Two of the year's top songwriters, vocalists and entertainers joined forces on Wednesday (Dec. 11) when special guest Miranda Lambert surprised the audience at Randy Houser's show at New York City's Webster Hall. The duo, which'd previously shared a bill in July at the California Mid-State Fair, fired up Houser's crowd with a literal show-stopping duet of Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty's 1971 hit "After the Fire is Gone."
The song, written by veteran country and bluegrass side musician L.E. White, won the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. White's son Michael wrote Michael Ray's breakthrough single, "Kiss You in the Morning."
"After the Fire is Gone" was the first single cut by one of country music's all-time great duos. It broke Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner's stronghold on the CMA's Vocal Duo of the Year award, earned similar accolades at the 1971 ACM Awards and launched Lynn and Twitty's run of 11 studio albums and numerous other Billboard chart-toppers.
Lambert covered the same song back in 2013 with Dierks Bentley. In August, Lambert and Houser teamed up for a different legendary duo's signature hit when they performed Brooks & Dunn's "Boot Scootin' Boogie" at the Allentown Fair.
While Lambert's decade-spanning success, from "Mama's Broken Heart" to "Bluebird," needs no introduction. Houser found his own success over the past ten years, including the platinum singles "How Country Feels" and "Runnin' Outta Moonlight."
Houser quietly had a great 2019 thanks to one of the year's most underrated country albums, Magnolia, featuring the standout Hillary Lindsey team-up "What Whiskey Does." As usual, commercial and critical success came in spades for Lambert as she capped off a tremendous decade with her seventh studio album, Wildcard.