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August 1

Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You:” A Parting Song

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When “I Will Always Love You” is mentioned, we automatically remember Whitney Houston in the movie “The Bodyguard.” However, the song was originally written and sung by Dolly Parton in 1973. And the intention of the song? It was to part ways.

Saying Goodbye with “I Will Always Love You”

dolly parton
Photo Credit: Dolly Parton’s Official Facebook Page

Parton made the song in 1973 to cut ties with Wagoner’s TV. Porter Wagoner, her producer, mentor, and longtime duet partner, was hesitant to let Parton go solo. The next morning, she had Porter listen to the song and he cried in reply,

“That’s the prettiest song I ever heard. And you can go, providing I get to produce that record.”

Song’s Chart Performance

True to his words, Porter produced the record and let Parton go solo. The song was released twice, in 1974 and 1982. Both recordings made it No.1 on the country chart. The 1982 version of the song had seriousness in it and was used in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” movie she starred in. She re-recorded the song for the third time in the ’90s as a duet with Vince Gill. Unlike the two previous recordings, this version only reached Top 10 on the country chart. 

dolly parton
Photo Credit: Dolly Parton’s Official Facebook Page

Paying Tribute to Porter Wagner

In 2007, a few decades after the release of the first recording, Parton paid tribute to Porter during his 50th anniversary in the Grand Ole Opry. She serenaded him personally and he could not contain his happiness and said,

“That’s a wonderful thing that she stood there and sang it for the whole world to see. The evening was unbelievable.”

On the same year of October, Porter Wagner took his last breath.

Watch Parton’s Performance here:

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Dolly Parton, I Will Always Love You, porter wagoner


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