Dolly Parton, the revered country music icon, recently unveiled an intriguing anecdote during her interview with BBC Radio 2, shedding light on a previously unknown connection between her 1973 classic “I Will Always Love You” and Elvis Presley.
In a candid conversation, Parton disclosed that Elvis had a profound affinity for her song. She revealed a conversation she had with Priscilla Presley, Elvis’s former wife, who disclosed an extraordinary moment during their divorce proceedings. According to Priscilla, as they walked down the courthouse steps, Elvis serenaded her with the heartfelt lyrics of “I Will Always Love You.” Parton, with a touch of nostalgia in her voice, shared this revelation with the outlet.
Elvis Presley and Priscilla Ann Beaulieu on their wedding day in May 1967.
Furthermore, Parton unveiled that Elvis had expressed a desire to record the track himself. However, she ultimately declined this proposal due to the insistence of Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Parker insisted that Elvis should acquire at least half of the publishing rights, a decision that left Parton “heartbroken,” as she considered it the most vital copyright in her entire publishing repertoire.
Nonetheless, Parton paid tribute to the “King of Rock and Roll” in her own unique way on her upcoming album, “Rockstar.” She shared a fascinating story about the song “I Dreamed of Elvis,” a composition she penned two decades ago in collaboration with The Jordanaires. For this track, she enlisted Ronnie McDowell, an artist known for his Elvis-like vocal prowess, to lend his voice.
“I wrote a song where I dreamed that Elvis was singing ‘I Will Always Love You.’ So, I composed an entire song dedicated to Elvis, and it’s featured on this album,” Parton explained during the interview.
Dolly Parton’s highly-anticipated album, “Rockstar,” is set to release on November 17. The album, comprising 30 songs, includes nine original compositions and 20 iconic covers. In a press release, Parton expressed her excitement about the project and her collaboration with legendary singers and musicians, including Miley Cyrus, Sheryl Crow, Lizzo, Elton John, Chris Stapleton, Stevie Nicks, Sting, John Fogerty, and more.
This album marks Parton’s latest venture since “Run, Rose, Run,” which she released in March 2022. In November of the same year, she was honored with induction into the 2022 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Parton attributed her motivation for creating a rock album to her husband of 57 years, Carl Thomas Dean, a lifelong rock enthusiast.
“I’m doing the rock ‘n’ roll album because of him,” she said. “I had often thought about doing a rock ‘n’ roll album for him with his favorite songs. And so when this all came about, I decided that I am gonna go ahead and do it… It was just the perfect storm. OK, it’s time.”
The release of “Rockstar” on November 17 promises to be a momentous occasion for both Dolly Parton and her countless fans worldwide.