Full performer name: Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn And Tammy Wynette.
Personnel: Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells (vocals); Bruce Watkins (acoustic guitar); Billy Sanford (guitar); Steve Gibson (guitar, tic-tac); Weldon Myrick (steel guitar); Adam Steffy (mandolin); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Reynolds Wyatt (harmonica); Farrell Morris (vibraphone); Roy Huskey (acoustic bass); Tom Robb (bass); Eddie Bayers (drums); Richard Dennison, Vicki Hampton, Louis Nunley (background vocals).
Includes liner notes by Ralph Emery.
"Silver Threads And Golden Needles" was nominated for Best Country Vocal Collaboration in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
The late Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells, two classic country divas, join Dolly, Loretta and Tammy via the wonders of modern recording technology,
a la Nat and Natalie Cole on "Unforgettable."
Legend is a hefty title to carry, especially if you're still kicking. The standards are high, the expectations immense. Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette are, nevertheless, legends of country music with decades of albums and awards to prove it. And they are very much still kicking on Honky Tonk Angels -- just in case anyone needs a little reminder. You can even hear how much fun they had singing together, setting aside any historic competition and letting their love of country music shine through, each gracefully moving between lead and harmony vocals. As for the song selection, it covers a wide swath of country history from tunes made famous by early pioneers like Ferlin Husky, the Davis Sisters, and Hank Locklin to their own more contemporary compositions. If that weren't enough credibility, Kitty Wells lends her amazing voice to the opening anthem "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels." Pure goodness. In another twist, Patsy Cline sings on "Lovesick Blues" with Parton, Lynn, and Wynette backing her. The closing track sums up the humorous reverence that permeates much of country music. "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" was a hit for Tex Ritter in 1961 and is a surprising choice that seems a bit out of place, but somehow works well enough. For fans of traditional country or great singers, this is a fun listen because it nicely captures three of the best voices around. ~ Kelly McCartney
Entertainment Weekly (11/19/93, p.89) - "...Nearly everything about [HONKY TONK ANGELS] has a '50s and '60s feel to it....Parton's angelic stridency, Lynn's plaintive urgency, and Wynette's relaxed sensuality...rescues [the songs] from the mothballs..." - Rating: B