Though perhaps little remembered today, the country music duo of Johnny Duncan and Janie Fricke were a staple of late 1970s and early 1980s country radio. It was then, as a kid growing up in the great West Texas city of El Paso, that I developed an appreciation for that particular musical genre which would never abate.
The ballads of Duncan and Fricke were often a bit on the seamy side, so I didn’t truly begin to understand what they were singing about until my teenage years, but when I did, I appreciated them even more.
Here they are performing “It Couldn’t Have Been Any Better” on a 1977 episode of Pop! Goes the Country:
Today, forty years later, their infectious joy still shines through their music. It can’t help but put me in a good mood while feeling down.
Regrettably, Johnny Duncan is no longer with us, having passed away in 2006 after a bout with cancer. Janie Fricke, however, is still performing at 69 years young.
Perhaps we all have idealized remembrances of our youth, when life seemed simpler, happier, and free from the day-to-day drudgery and stresses of adulthood. Are there any songs that take you back?