David Frizzell and Shelly West were one of the most successful country duos of the 1980s, and at this Silver Eagle-recorded show, they can be heard at the height of their success. The performance, which was part of the grand opening of Nashville's renowned Exit Inn venue, shows the group fresh off of a Grammy nomination for Frizzell's 1982 solo single, "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino (to Decorate Our Home)," as well as awards for "Vocal Duo of the Year" from the Academy of Country Music and "Vocal Duet of the Year" from the Country Music Association.
Frizzell began his recording career in the late 1950s, but it was in the 1980s that he first saw major commercial success. As is mentioned in the introduction from a WJRB on-air personality, this show was a benefit for the national chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and sounds like it was a major Nashville occasion: At one point during the show, Frizzell and West are awarded the keys to the city.
It's a family event in every sense—several members of the Frizzell family make an appearance (extending beyond the band to Aaron Frizzell on monitors and sound), and tribute is paid throughout to Lefty Frizzell, David's older brother and a honky-tonk legend who passed away almost seven years before. David's song "Lefty" proclaims that "there's a whole lot of Lefty left in me," and both "If You've Got the Money (I've Got the Time)" and "I Can't Get Over You," which feature David's youngest brother (and West's husband) Allen Frizzell on vocals, are introduced as songs that Lefty would've performed regularly around 1950-1951. Early in the set, the group also takes the time to cover "Are You Happy Baby?" by Dottie West, Shelly's mother and renowned country musician in her own right. Other set highlights include the rousing opener "Wasn't That Love" and a slow Mickey Newbury number, "Makes Me Wonder."
The core duo would go on to collaborate together through 1986, and although his greatest career successes were in the 1980s, David Frizzell continues to record to the present day.