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Steel Magnolia's Heart-On: Delaney & Bonnie and... Bert and Ernie?

Leave it to a couple of lovebirds to sing the praises of some of their favorite singing partners.
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Leave it to a couple of lovebirds to sing the praises of some of their favorite singing partners.

Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey of the country duo Steel Magnolia believe they know what it takes to make beautiful music together.

The real-life couple, who won Season 2 of CMT's Can You Duet in 2008, but started a romantic and professional relationship after hooking up in Nashville even before that, also love talking about singing duos. As far as a great duet performance goes, how to do it is no deep secret.

"If you ever listen to the Everly Brothers or you listen to the Judds, it's just that blend that they have," Jones said during an interview last month before their self-titled album (Big Machine Records) was released.

"It was brought to our attention that we had a good blend. We had first written the song 'Edge of Goodbye,' and when we started playing it out at writers nights, people were like, 'Wow, you guys should be a duo. Your blend sounds great.' I think that it took enough people to say that, then we started ... "

"Taking it more seriously," Linsey said, completing the thought. So Jones and Linsey (right), nominated in two categories at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards, including "Top New Vocal Duo or Group" (competing against The Band Perry and the JaneDear girls), are pleased when they hear their names mentioned alongside some of Nashville's legendary pairings. Last names aren't necessary -- George and Tammy, Johnny and June, Dolly and Porter and Conway and Loretta.

While some of those love stories didn't have a happily-ever-after ending, Jones and Linsey believe their hearts were in the right place.

So, in the loving spirit of Valentine's Day, Jones and Linsey were asked to name a few of their favorite couples.

The perfect couple?

Meghan: "Since they're on top of the world right now, I'll say Blake (Shelton) and Miranda (Lambert)."
(Steel Magnolia is opening for Shelton on selected dates of his 2011 tour.)
Josh: "Perfect couple? I'm going to have to say (Sesame Street's) Bert and Ernie" (ha, ha, ha, ha).
Meghan: "Oh, my God; that was a good one."
Josh: "No, no I'm gonna have to say, uh, let me think here. Peanut butter and jelly, man. OK, perfect couple I would think it would have to be ... I'm trying to think of couples ... Bert and Ernie (laughs). Are they a couple?"
Meghan: "They're not romantically involved, probably."
Josh: "They make good roommates."

Favorite singing couple?

Josh: "Everly Brothers for me."
Meghan: "I'd pick Bonnie and Delaney (Bramlett)"
(In a Huffington Post interview February 1, Jones revealed how Bekka Bramlett, the daughter of the famous husband-and-wife couple and a Nashville singer-songwriter, helped Steel Magnolia get back on their feet when they didn't have a place to stay in the Music City.)
Josh, re-evaluating: "I'd say Bonnie and Delaney, too. ... To me, they were both just like incredible, you know?"

Favorite comedy duo?

Josh: "Laurel and Hardy, they were good ..."
Meghan: "I loved Laverne and Shirley when I was a kid. (I Love Lucy's) Lucy and Ricky ... I thought they were funny. ..."
Josh: "Perfect Strangers. I used to watch that when I was a kid. Balki and Larry."
Meghan: "I'm going with Lucy and Ricky ..."
Josh: "I'm gonna say Balki and Larry from Perfect Strangers. TGIF. That's just who popped into my head."

Favorite songwriting team?

Meghan: "Oh gosh, I don't know."
Josh: "Lennon/McCartney."
Meghan: "Yeah, that's a good one."
Meghan, wondering if the interviewer is a Beatles fan: "I guess some people aren't, but that seems crazy to me." (laughs)

Favorite acting couple?

Meghan: "Goodness ..."
Josh: "Bert and Ernie." (all laugh)
Meghan: "Aww man, I don't know. That is a tough one. I could probably think of 10 people yesterday. I can't think of everybody right now."
Josh: "Let's see. The Notebook was pretty good.
Meghan: "Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Yeah, that was good ..."
Josh: "That was a good movie. I gotta admit, man. That really hit me (Meghan laughs) ... Yeah, I mean, it was ... I just lost my grandmother to Alzheimer's."
Meghan: "You know, I'm a sucker for Twilight movies. I like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. I think they're cute."

Favorite Dynamic Duo?

Meghan: "Batman and Robin."
Josh: "Yeah, what other ones are there? What about, uh ... what about, uh ..."
Meghan: "Scooby and Shaggy? Do they qualify?" (laughs)
Josh: "Yeah!"
Meghan: "Hey, why not. A talking dog."
Josh: "I used to wear their underwear when I was a little kid."

Publicity photo by Ryan Smith.