Of all the iconic songs she has written within her remarkable career, Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” remains one of the most well-known. In fact, it’s been captivating audiences for more than forty years already.
Her country version of the track turned out to be a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart after its release in 1974. Eight years later, Dolly Parton released a re-recorded version of the song for the soundtrack of the musical comedy film, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – and it once again took the top spot of the charts. This achievement made Parton the first artist to earn a No. 1 hit twice with the same song.
“Of course, ‘I Will Always Love You’ is the biggest song so far in my career,” Parton said, adding that it came “from a true and deep place in my heart.”
But despite Parton’s massive success with the song, a lot of people are unaware of its origin. Many believed that it is one of the many Dolly Parton songs about a romantic breakup – but believe it or not, it’s about a professional one. Parton actually wrote the song when she decided to take an ultimate break from her role on Porter Wagoner’s syndicated television show.
It was in 1967 when Parton agreed to star in The Porter Wagoner Show. She had done so with great success – but seven years later, she was eager to go out and start building a career of her own. Sad to say, Porter Wagoner – her duet partner and mentor – wasn’t ready to let her go. And the two found themselves constantly butting heads over the decision.
But on one occasion, Parton came to Wagoner’s office, armed with her brand-new song. She asked if Wagoner could hear her out for a few minutes to sing “I Will Always Love You” to him. Wagoner was overwhelmed with emotion upon hearing the song and finally let her go.
You can listen to “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton in the video below.