Dolly Parton, the cherished country icon, is celebrated for her enduring music, captivating performances, and the compelling narratives interwoven into her songs. During a recent interview with BBC Radio, she unraveled a remarkable and profoundly emotional connection that binds her iconic hit, “I Will Always Love You,” to the legendary Elvis Presley.
Approaching the song’s 50th anniversary, Dolly divulged insights into her resolute decision to prevent Elvis from recording it and the poignant moment when he serenaded Priscilla Presley with the same song on the day of their divorce.
A Song’s Timeless Odyssey:
“I Will Always Love You” is a composition that has resonated with hearts across the globe for nearly five decades. Dolly disclosed that Elvis Presley had expressed an ardent desire to make the song his own. However, Dolly rejected the proposition when Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, insisted on acquiring at least half of the song’s publishing rights. Dolly described the refusal as “heart-wrenching,” but she was mindful of the song’s paramount significance to her publishing company.
Elvis’s Profound Bond:
Despite being unable to record the song, Elvis held a deep connection to Dolly’s enduring ballad. During her interview with BBC Radio, Dolly recounted a poignant conversation she had with Priscilla Presley not too long ago. Priscilla shared a heartfelt memory from the day she and Elvis divorced, recalling his rendition of “I Will Always Love You” as they descended the courthouse steps. He sang it to her, a symbol of his enduring affection.
Paying Tribute to Elvis’s Legacy:
As the world commemorates Elvis Presley, 46 years after his passing, Dolly Parton pays homage to him and this emotionally charged moment in musical history. She has included a hitherto unreleased track titled “I Dreamed About Elvis” on her forthcoming album, “Rockstar,” scheduled for release on November 17. Dolly revealed that she wrote this song, featuring Ronnie McDowell and the Jordanaires, two decades ago. Although she has performed it live, it has never been officially released. This song allows Dolly and Ronnie to harmonize, with Ronnie’s voice often evoking comparisons to Elvis’s.
Dolly’s album, “Rockstar,” promises to be a veritable treasure trove of music, boasting collaborations with artists like Miley Cyrus, Chris Stapleton, Stevie Nicks, Pink, Brandy Carlisle, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and more. This star-studded album exemplifies Dolly’s enduring musical prowess and her knack for continually astonishing and beguiling her audience.
Dolly Parton’s revelations regarding “I Will Always Love You” and its link to Elvis Presley offer a poignant glimpse into the emotional profundity of her music. With “Rockstar,” Dolly persistently captivates her admirers and the music realm, a reminder that even after more than six decades in the industry, her sequined sleeves conceal an abundance of surprises.