Just Between The Two Of Us album cover
Just Between The Two Of Us

Merle Haggard , Bonnie Owens

Capitol Records

Bonnie Owens was the more famous performer at the time this 1966 album was released; she was Buck Owens’ ex-wife and her own debut, 1965’s Don’t Take Advantage Of Me, won her the Academy of Country Music’s first Female Vocalist of the Year award. Haggard is a more technically accomplished singer than Owens, to whom he was married from 1965 to 1978, and he’s singing in a somewhat clean, showbizzy style, but their voices mesh together well, and the songs — a mix of lovers’ anthems and heartbroken weepers — are tightly arranged and performed by his backing band, the Strangers. The title track and “That Makes Two Of Us” were written by Liz Anderson, who also wrote “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive” for Haggard, and two others, “Forever And Ever” and “I’ll Take A Chance On Loving You,” were by Buck Owens; the album also includes a version of Hank Williams’ “A House Without Love Is Not A Home.”

Phil Freeman

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