Pat Boone is set to release an ambitious new country album in September, and he's letting Taste of Country readers see a very special new video first. The album features Boone and Crystal Gayle in a new recording of her No. 1 hit duet from 1982, "You and I," and the new video is dedicated to the singer's late wife, Shirley.

Gayle teamed with Eddie Rabbitt for the original hit recording, and Boone says it was his team's idea to invite her for the new rendition of the multi-genre hit.

"I had never met her," he tells Taste of Country. "I knew Loretta Lynn, but I hadn't me Crystal Gayle before. She's beautiful, and she still sings great."

The instrumental track had already been recorded, and "it was in a key that was a little high for me," Boone says with a chuckle. "You can tell when you hear me singing that I'm singing it in a very intimate, up-close-in-her-ear kind of way."

Boone was gratified when Gayle agreed to join him on this project, which he has dedicated to his wife.

"She went to Heaven," Boone says, but "I haven't lost her. I know where Shirley is, and we're gonna be together. So don't cry for either of us."

Boone says the reaction to the song has already been overwhelmingly positive.

"I have yet to mention this to anybody — old, young, country fans or not — when I say, 'I've just re-recorded this song called 'You and I,'' they say, 'Oh, I love that song.'"

The track appears on Boone's forthcoming Country Jubilee album, which features the 89-year-old pop, rock, gospel and country singer returning to his country roots across the span of 25 tracks. The track listing finds Boone revisiting old classics including "Kaw-Liga," "Tennessee Waltz," "I Feel Like Cryin'," "Old Shep" and more.

The album also features a fun new track titled "Grits," which Boone tailored especially for line dancing. He recorded it in a star-studded collaboration with Ray Stevens, the Gatlin Brothers, Lorrie Morgan, Deborah Allen and Dean Miller, and he filmed a fun, colorful down-home video for the song:

Boone says the opening lines of "Grits" came to him in a dream, and it helped touch off the idea for the entire project, which he views not only as a return to his Tennessee roots, but also as a statement of purpose.

"What I'm trying to do is reinforce the lifestyle of country people. The core of what made our country the greatest in the world, beginning in the country," he says emphatically. "It was farmers that took up arms to fight the British. They formed the militia. Paul Revere was a country guy. All of the framers of our Constitution were country guys; Jefferson, Washington, Monroe and Adams.

"I want to re-establish in the corporate mind of America the principles that were country principles to begin with," Boone adds.

Country Jubilee is set for release on Sept. 8, and the collection is currently available for pre-order and pre-save.

Most Popular Country Album From the Year You Were Born

Find out which country singer dominated on this list of the most popular albums from the year you were born or graduated high school.

This list is based on sales date from the Soundscan era (1991 to 2022) and total weeks spent atop Billboard's Hot Country Albums chart (1964-1990).

In 1999, Shania Twain's Come on Over album became the first to top the year-end chart in back-to-back years, but that feat has been done four times since, most recently in 2022. Which country album defined your childhood? Scroll down to find out.

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