Back in February, the the Grand Ole Opry put on a spectacular tribute show in honor of the late, great comedian Leslie Jordan, Reportin’ For Duty: A Tribute To Leslie Jordan.
It was a star-studded affair, with performances by some of the most talented musicians you could find, including Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, Billy Strings, Lukas Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Ashley McBryde, Jelly Roll, Brittney Spencer, Lainey Wilson and many more.
Leslie sadly passed away at the age of 67 in October of last year, and he was most famously known for his acting roles in shows like Will & Grace, Hearts Afire, The Cool Kids, Call Me Kat, and American Horror Story.
All of the artists in attendance certainly put on quite a show for the beloved comedian, and one of my favorites performances of the evening came from none other than Lainey Wilson andLukas Nelson.
They took the stage to perform the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers classic “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” which was the title track to Rogers’ 2013 album of the same name, and later also included on Dolly’s 2014 Blue Smoke album.
Written by Ryan Hanna King, Don Schlitz, Caitlyn Smith, it peaked at #57 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay, but became a fast fan-favorite which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance in 2014.
Of course, Kenny and Dolly had a very special friendship that lasted all the way until Kenny’s death in 2020, and Lukas and Lainey seem to have that same chemistry and stage presence that makes this performance so sincere and special.
Their harmonies are absolutely perfect, and I think it’s safe to say that Leslie would’ve absolutely loved their performance at the Opry.
I could watch these two sing together all damn day… check it out:
Lainey and Lukas have actually become quite a little duo, as she also joined him recently for an original song called “More than Friends,” the lead single from Lukas’ forthcoming Sticks & Stones album.
“More Than Friends”
And of course, the timeless Dolly and Kenny original: