I was driving home, when I found myself unconsciously singing along with a duet playing on the radio that I’d not heard in years. I recognized the male voice, the smoky-voiced hit maker, Kenny Rogers, but I had forgotten all about his unmistakable female partner: Dottie West. It had been decades since I’d heard or even thought of that red-headed Country spitfire.
West grew up around country stars, including her friend and greatest influence, Patsy Cline. She got a recording contract in 1963 and immediately began churning out country hits. The song I was singing along to, her duet with Rogers, “What Are We Doing In Love,” was not only a number 1 country hit in 1981, but was a crossover success, reaching number 14 on the Billboard charts. While West’s final years were marred by personal problems and tragedy, she’ll forever be a legend to her fans.