Friday, July 23, 2004

Live from Hillbilly Heaven

Touching or tacky? You decide.

Music Row long has known of such grave-defying, cash register-ringing power. Years after their fatal plane crashes, Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline's voices were spliced together to create a hit posthumous duet. In 1989, producers blended Hank Williams Jr.'s voice alongside his long gone, lonesome daddy's on There's A Tear In My Beer.

But a new country single takes that process a step further: The deceased can now sing brand-new lyrics and melodies. Just ask Country Music Hall of Famer Conway Twitty.

Actually, Twitty won't answer. He passed away in 1993. But his disembodied voice recently recorded a new duet with country singer Anita Cochran, on a number she penned in 2002 called (I Wanna) Hear A Cheatin' Song.


''When she was asked 'Who would you like to do a duet with?' Anita's first response was 'Conway,' '' Huff said. ''In the old days, he's deceased, so there's no option. You'll get differing views on this, though, and some people think you're opening Pandora's box, like, 'Can we get Hank Williams Sr. to do all of Shania Twain's new hits?' I think you can misuse the technology.''

And if that idea doesn't give you nightmares ...

Edited to add this bizarre quote about it:

''To me, that is no different than, say, donating organs.'' Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely

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