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You can't say no to this forgotten '80s duet from Carlene Carter and Robert Ellis Orrall

Published Oct. 16, 2013

Yesterday we featured Nick Lowe and referenced his "Cruel To Be Kind" video that reenacted the 1979 marriage between Lowe and Carlene Carter.

Today we feature Carlene Carter's duet with Robert Ellis Orrall from 1983 with a lovely back and forth pop chestnut called I Couldn't Say No that made it to No. 32 on the pop singles chart.

Carter is the daughter of country singers June Carter and Carl Smith and then became the stepdaughter of Johnny Cash. While this was Carter's only pop hit, she would later enjoy great success with multiple No. 1 singles and Grammies in the country genre. Carter and Lowe would eventually divorce in 1990.

I Couldn't Say No was also Orrall's only visit to the pop Top 40, but he became a prolific songwriter and more than 250 of his compositions have been recorded, mostly by country artists. In 2006, he co-produced the debut album for some 16-year old ingénue named Taylor Swift, who seems to be doing okay these days in the record business.