Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1981 Dottie West With Kenny Rogers – What Are We Doin’ In Love

1981 Dottie West With Kenny Rogers – What Are We Doin’ In Love

Dorothy Marie Marsh was the oldest of ten children in a very poor family that lived near McMinnville, Tennessee. She sang and played guitar in her high school band and worked at her mother’s restaurant to help the family financially.

After graduation, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio. She and Kathy Dee sang country music as the Kay-Dots on the Landmark Jamboree television show. She recorded several unsuccessful singles beginning in 1959 and moved to Nashville in 1961.

Dottie recorded her first top forty Country single in 1963 and routinely reached the charts with her records for nearly twenty years.

In 1973, Dottie co-wrote a jingle for use in a Coca-Cola Commercial. Billy Davis worked for the McCann-Erickson Advertising and had previously produced Coca-Cola ads for them, including the jingle that became the song I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony). He produced Dottie’s jingle, and they also recorded it as a full-length song that became the title track for her album that year. Country Sunshine peaked at #2 on the Country chart and crossed over and reached #49 on the Hot 100 and #37 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.

While Dottie was recording the single Every Time Two Fools Collide in 1977, Kenny Rogers wandered into the studio and started singing along. They eventually recorded the song as a duet that easily topped the Country chart the next year. It was the first of several hit duets the pair recorded.

Dottie’s next visit to the Hot 100 came in 1980. Her first #1 Country hit was A Lesson In Leaving, which also reached #73 on the Hot 100. Country singer Jo Dee Messina covered the song and her version peaked at #2 on the Country chart and also reached #28 on the Hot 100.

The last time Dottie and Kenny recorded together came in 1981. They released What Are We Doing In Love with only Dottie’s name on the label and the photo jacket for the single, but Kenny was clearly part of the recording. The two often sang the song together in live concerts. The record reached #1 on the Country chart and #14 on the Hot 100, becoming the last time Dottie reached the Hot 100.

Two more of Dottie’s singles peaked at #16 on the Country chart in 1981, but after that she had little success with her single releases. She continued to perform in concerts, but a series of financial mishaps left her deep in debt to the IRS and struggling with bankruptcy.

Dottie was riding in a car that went off the road on her way to a show at the Opry in 1991. Although she appeared to be okay at first, she had received injuries that killed her within a few days despite multiple operations. Dottie was only 58 years old.


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