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George Jones and Tammy Wynette

We Go Together/Let's Build a World Together – 2007 (American Beat)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by George Jones and Tammy Wynette

This release from the recently emerged and already burgeoning reissue label American Beat combines two albums from one of the iconic country duet pairs, neither of which were issued on CD before. These were the first and third of 7 duet albums released by George Jones and Tammy Wynette in the '70s, culminating with the great "Golden Ring" (also recently reissued by American Beat). But "We Go Together" wasn't just the first George and Tammy record; it was also the first George Jones release for Epic Records and thus kicked off another partnership - with Billy Sherrill - that yielded his greatest achievements.

The most striking aspect of their debut is its complete absence (but for a cover of the Jack Clement's standard "Someone I Used to Know") of the hurtin', cheatin' side of things, a character befitting (accidentally or otherwise) the presumably still relatively blissful state of their then 3-year-old marriage (they married in 1968).

Their 1973 effort is a bit more varied in its fare, but still dominated by testaments to the happy side of domesticity, from start (the marvelous back-and-forth of the title track) to finish (the classic Jones ballad sounds of "This Growing Old Together Love We Share"). The tenor of both music and marriage would soon become more mixed.