Chris Janson Rocks The Stage With His ‘Hound Dog’ Willie At Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala

Janson and his canine companion make one awesome musical duo!


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 21, 2024


9:07 pm

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Chris Janson with his dog, Willie; Photos Courtesy CBS

Chris Janson delivered a rollicking performance of the iconic rock and roll hit “Hound Dog” alongside his very own hound dog, Willie, during Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala.

After being introduced by Entertainment Tonight host Rachel Smith, Janson took to the stage for a performance of “Hound Dog,” made famous by Elvis Presley.

Chris Janson Sang With His Dog, Willie

The country hitmaker rocked the stage as his hound dog, who was wearing a black hat, watched from atop a road case on the side of the stage. During Janson’s performance, he offered a jaw-dropping harmonica solo.  

Willie the hound dog also showed off his canine vocal abilities, howling along to the song with his human father.

The History Of The Song “Hound Dog”

“Hound Dog” is a blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song has been recorded more than 250 times. The most widely known version is the one by the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley. Elvis recorded the song in 1956, and it went on to spend 11 weeks atop the charts.   

“Hound Dog” has been featured in various films, including Grease, Forrest Gump, A Few Good Men, and more.

Chris Janson's dog, Willie; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Chris Janson’s dog, Willie; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Janson Also Performed His New Single

He also performed his forthcoming new release, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” for the first time on television.

Fans can pre-save Janson’s upcoming new song, “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,” which will arrive on March 8 via BMLG Records/Harpeth 60 Records/Universal Music Distribution. The song will impact Country radio on March 11, 2024. 

“There is no better way to describe me on a daily basis,” Janson said of the track, which was co-written by Jason alongside Tyler Hubbard, RaeLynn, Blake Hubbard and Jarrod Ingram. ”This song is 100% authentic, every word. It’s fun, it’s rowdy and it’s the truth. Roll your window down and crank it up!”

The song encourages listeners to celebrate themselves and be who they want to be and not what others want them to be.

“Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” marks Janson’s first new release since the release of his album, The Outlaw Side Of Me, a project that spawned the chart-topping hit, “All I Need Is You.”

Additionally, fans can catch Chris Janson on the road throughout the year with his own headlining tour dates. He will also serve as support on select dates of Cody Johnson’s Leather Tour.

Chris Janson, Kelly Janson, and Willie; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Chris Janson, Kelly Janson, and Willie; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Red Carpet Appearance

Prior to his performance with Willie, Chris Janson made his way down the pink carpet with his wife, Kelly, and pup, Willie, by his side.

Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala aired on CBS on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The two-hour event featured a one-of-a-kind canine runway show unveiling the finest in dog fashion. The superstar pups sported dog versions of Dolly Parton’s most iconic outfits, as well as elaborately adorned ensembles from Dolly’s Doggy Parton pet line.  

Performers included Lainey Wilson, Carly Pearce, Chris Janson, Grace Bowers, Joy Oladokun, and KC from KC and the Sunshine Band. 

Additionally, Iain Armitage from “YOUNG SHELDON,” Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose, Margaret Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Carson Kressley, Jim Nantz, Jessica Simpson, and many more made special appearances during the event.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.