Everyone knows the definition of "duet". American Heritage Dictionary and The Norton Grove Encyclopedia of Music are so certain of a consensus that they provide only cryptic definitions: "a composition for two voices or instruments", "a group of two singers or two instruments". No mention of other options such as voice and piano or other dissimilar pairings, spoken vs. sung, or about the relationship, if any, to other performers. Various unusual combinations spring to mind: the Kay Starr duet recordings with herself through over-dubbing; the number from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers in which the two male principals sing a number in which they alternate single words "as one individual"; the various operatic pieces by Handel, so often satirized, in which coloratura sopranos exchange vocal pyrotechnics with flute players. The possibilities are endless--add your own.
One of the most elegant duos in American popular music during the 20th century was not only unique but also an important style-setter: the team of Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, more commonly billed as Jackie and Roy. From their first appearance with the Charlie Ventura band in 1949 until the end of the century they continued to be role models for various solo singers and vocal groups in the fields of jazz and cabaret, which they blended so successfully that it has become a category unto itself.
Steve Stone, who has long drawn upon Jackie and Roy in the development of his popular Emerald City Jazz Kings programs, brings the couple's unique style to the works of Rodgers and Hart with the help of Vicki Brabham, Michael Stone and Julie Alsin.