In 1993 Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette released Honky Tonk Angels, a long-rumored project between the three living legends that featured new takes on classic hits like “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.”
Of course, just like if it was released today, the only single from the album, “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” received very little radio airplay, but did produce one of the most fun, witty and memorable videos of all-time. In all likelihood, it’s one of the most underrated country music videos ever produced.
The premise is a classic sitcom debacle– the ladies are preparing for a show and their longtime friend and country music legend Chet Atkins is trying to visit them, but the security guard doesn’t recognize him. In the meantime, the girls get visits from Ricky Skaggs, Rodney Crowell, Bill Anderson, Jim Nabors, Little Jimmy Dickens, Marty Stuart and Ronnie Milsap– only to be shut out.
Eventually, Chet makes his way to the Honky Tonky Angels and so concludes the greatest collaboration in country music history. (And yes, we know all about the Highwaymen.)
Of course, the live performance of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” during the 1993 CMA Awards was even more impressive because every outfit on stage was likely put together with actual silver thread and actual golden needles.
Honk Tonk Angels, indeed.