They recently scored their own No. 1 smash with ''Remind Me.'' As the two Nashville stars prepare to cohost the CMAs for the fourth year in a row, they give us their all-time favorite pair-ups
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash, ”Jackson” (1967)
Brad Paisley They’re just not in love in this song. And yet they are. You want to see a couple that’s that real. And that’s what that song is; it’s so playful. She’s basically saying, ”Screw you,” and it’s great. She seemed like the type that would just so easily say that, and that’s why she was his match.
Carrie Underwood They had fun! People loved seeing them together.
David Frizzell & Shelly West, ”You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” (1981)
Underwood Anything with Oklahoma in it was played about a million times more in Oklahoma than it was everywhere else, so I heard this song a lot growing up.
Paisley That’s one of the first songs I remember really loving. Great melody. She’s moved out to Hollywood, and he’s still back there. It talks about the Santa Monica Freeway and seeing the lights all the way to Malibu — as a kid I didn’t know anything about the geography of it.
Reba McEntire & Linda Davis, ”Does He Love You” (1993)
Underwood Growing up and listening to that, I totally pretended I was Reba.
Paisley Did you have a red wig?
Underwood I didn’t! But she’s an Okie girl too, so definitely a big influence on moi.
Paisley It’s a soap opera. It was the first of its kind, I think. I don’t think there ever was a song sung from the perspective of a scorned woman in an affair. It’s a very empowering song to women in the sense that it just totally leaves the guy’s opinion out of it.
Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, ”Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man” (1973)
Paisley We’ve sung this together.
Underwood We have. So obviously we like it. [Laughs]
Paisley It’s an inspiration for ”Remind Me,” in that it’s a song that doesn’t do the typical duet structure of first verse, guy; second verse, girl. It’s all question-and-answer.
Underwood Back in my downtown country days singing in my college company theater show, we sang that one, so it’s one that I do know very well. It’s a lot of fun — not your traditional love song.
George Jones & Tammy Wynette, ”Golden Ring” (1976)
Paisley They were real. And they sang so well together — clearly that worked a lot better than their marriage. The greatest two singers we really ever had, I would say.
Underwood I second that. Fortunately, in country music there are a lot of songs that do transcend time and generations. I grew up listening to Alan Jackson and George Strait, so for me to know that song and know it well, that’s something special.