Islands in the Stream (Smile for a Saturday)

For last week’s “Smile for a Saturday” we celebrated the marvel of an unadorned human voice, the isolated vocal track of Marvin Gaye singing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

Well this week, we are shifting gears a bit, from first to second. Because while a soloist is a treat to behold, there is also something magical about a duet. This song is a favorite that you’ve probably heard many times over the years. But we think it still has a good chance of bringing a smile to your face. 

It was written by the Bee Gees and, in a twist of coincidence, originally intended for Gaye himself. But it was eventually offered to Kenny Rogers, who, in one of the best decisions of his career, decided to bring in the one and only Dolly Parton. The result was instant success, and this live performance captures a lot of the reasons why. From Dolly’s fierce entrance, to the exhilarating harmonies, to the two of them singing into each other’s eyes, this has it all. 

One final note: we at Steady are thrilled that Smile for a Saturday has become a favorite feature for many of you. And we wanted to know if any of you had suggestions you wanted to share. It could be music, art, poetry, or some other impetus for reminding us of the joys of life. If you would like to make a suggestion, please send it to and put “Smile for a Saturday” in the subject line. If you are inclined, please include your name. We would like to give public thanks.

See you tomorrow for the Sunday Essay.

Share Steady

Leave a comment