Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" has had an epic journey — from becoming hit for Parton in 1974 to finding a new life with Whitney Houston's recording and subsequent hit in 19992. But the song almost had another life as a tune recorded by Elvis Presley. Parton has told of Presley's love for the song in various interviews over the years, but due to Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker's demand that they get half the publishing for the tune, Parton didn't allow the recording to go through.
The singer says she was "heartbroken" that Presley wouldn't be able to record the song, but according to an account by Presley's former wife Priscilla Presley, the King of Rock and Roll did sing the song during a turning point in his life.
"Elvis loved the song," Parton told BBC Radio 2 in recent interview. "In fact, I talked to Priscilla not very long ago. She said, 'You know, Elvis sang that song to me when we were walking down the courthouse steps when we got divorced. He was singing to me 'I Will Always Love You.'"
Dolly Parton reveals why Elvis never recorded a cover of ?I Will Always Love You? ? Listen to When Sally Met Dolly on BBC Sounds, just search for Claudia Winkleman?s show. ? #dollyparton #elvis #dolly #elvispresley #sallytraffic #bbcradio2 #radio #interview
Although Parton didn't get to collaborate with Presley on the recording of "I Will Always Love You," she sings about the music legend on a track called "I Dreamed of Elvis" on her forthcoming rock album, Rockstar. Parton says she wrote the song about 20 years ago, and it features the voice of Ronnie McDowell, the singer behind the 1977 Presley tribute song, "The King is Gone." Parton says McDowell "sounds just like" Presley, and the song imagines how Presley would have sang the classic tune. "I Dreamed of Elvis" also features The Jordanaires.
Parton will release Rockstar on Nov. 17. The album features collaborations with a host of artists including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Elton John, Chris Stapleton and more.
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