Music

Dolly Parton, Carol Burnett Trade Jokes and Sing During '70s TV Special at the Grand Ole Opry

Carol Burnett and Dolly Parton sing a duet during a television special made at Nashville?s Grand Ole Opry House for broadcast, Feb. 14, 1979. The CBS program marks the first joint appearance of comedienne Burnett and country-western music star Parton. (AP Photo)

Dolly and Carol in Nashville, a CBS television special from Feb. 14, 1979, teamed Dolly Parton with comedian Carol Burnett for a night of knee-slappers and country music.

The crossover moment was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry and featured more than just the comedic stylings of The Carol Burnett Show and the familiar hits of a mainstream country star.

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The above clip starts off with Burnett observing that "no one picks like a Nashville picker picks" as the tries to build up the courage to pluck out a few notes on the banjo. After the pair poke a little fun at each other, they eventually create a spirited ode to the Music City's talented pool of musicians.

The duo even takes a moment to bring an adorable young boy named Louis on stage to show off his strumming skills. We won't spoil the rest of the video for you, but the end of the performance turns into a moment that could only happen at the Grand Ole Opry.

Other duets during the hour-long program include "It's a Kick, Kickin' Around With You," "Old Time Religion," "This Little Light of Mine," "The Pedestal Song," "Heart to Heart Medley" and "Turn Around."

The skits and songs impressed the New York Times' John Rockwell, an apparent television variety show cynic, was won over by Parton's ability to juggle self-depreciating East Tennessee humor with her established talents as a country singer-songwriter.

"Miss Burnett is so refreshingly honest in the context of television artificiality, Miss Parton so professional and winning, and both women seem so genuinely affectionate with each other, that they go a long way toward purging the television‐special clichés of their objectionability," Rockwell wrote. "And when either woman ventures onto the other's turf, she acquits herself honorably, although it should be said that Miss Parton acts and clowns better than Miss Burnett sings."

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Dolly Parton, Carol Burnett Trade Jokes and Sing During '70s TV Special at the Grand Ole Opry